Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Seizing the moment

I usually find this to be a tough time of year. It seems too early to get ready for Spring (which often means when Spring arrives, I'm not yet ready). I don't particularly enjoy being out in bitter cold, and I haven't ice skated on a pond for years. Ice fishing doesn't do much for me either, probably for the same reasons I have a hard time sitting still on a deer stand. All that helps explain why I'm so glad our days of below 0F seem behind us and we may even see a brief thaw this weekend. I want to get back outside with a camera, and maybe a field guide, and poke around without freezing major parts of my anatomy.

Autumn leaves, St. Croix River
Autumn leaves, St. Croix River
Photo by J. Harrington

Fortunately, there's a lot of in-door arts-related activity the Better Half [BH] and I have lined up. Tonight we're meeting a friend for dinner and a play (Pericles, I think) at the Guthrie. Tomorrow evening is the opening of That's What Eye Saw at the Hallberg Center in Wyoming, MN, where the BH and I will then be among the volunteer staff Friday evening. After years of using my photography almost entirely on-line, it's a very different and satisfying experience to see it printed and hung. I'm looking forward to a chance to share some of my writing and wondering if getting prints of some other photos I've taken might help me progress a chapbook project I'm trying to get started. So, this year, I'm not only looking forward to Spring, I'm grateful that I seem to be making some progress in the creation of an "alternative lifestyle." Following the Zen guidance to live in the moment works better for me when I can help the moments align with what I like to do. We're getting there.

Seeing for a Moment

By Denise Levertov 
I thought I was growing wings—
it was a cocoon.

I thought, now is the time to step   
into the fire—
it was deep water.

Eschatology is a word I learned
as a child: the study of Last Things;

facing my mirror—no longer young,
       the news—always of death,
       the dogs—rising from sleep and clamoring   
            and howling, howling,

I see for a moment   
that's not it: it is   
the First Things.

Word after word
floats through the glass.   
Towards me.

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