Tho old place is settling into its final 6 weeks. Man and woman sing John Prine, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waite, and blues riffs on guitar. Sun brings in casual visitors for chocolate chip cookies, Topfen Kuchen, old brownie. Snow melts. Once a Tree moves out of their shop space up to main street. Two dogs sniff every inch of the place. In the stairwell wall to outside something has died and reminds us of the fragrance of future days.
A time for watching. With. Whatever takes place.
The worthies of old all hadWhen we dismantle bookshop/bakery we'll find a lot that has gotten lost over the 13 years. So many different opinions: move to this space, that space, how about the boat, how about the bookmobile? I tell folks we haven't thought about it yet. Not really. Too busy with deadlines doing the work that actually brings in some money. We've made no decisions except the fall-back one: pack up, go home, label boxes, trust.
means of emancipating people.
What I teach people just requires
you not to take on the confusion of others.
If you need to act, then act,
without any further hesitation or doubt.
- Lin Chi (d 867?)
For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel: ‘Your salvation lies in conversion and tranquillity, your strength will come from complete trust.’ The Lord is waiting to be gracious to you, to rise and take pity on you, for the Lord is a just God. Happy are all who hope in him.The solitude of a lovely afternoon in an empty shop! I'm pleased for those who call upon God and are satisfied with what they receive in return. Hope is useful.
(Isaiah 30:15,18, from Noon reading, Sext)
To live without hope is equally useful. For some there is no need for hope. Each moment is the prize. No looking forward to what will come, or might come, or could come if all is right with the universe, your soul, or God. No, each moment is its own gift. Right now, no pain. Right now, pain. Right now, awareness of pain or no pain. Just that.
Meditation By The StoveHome. Farm gate closed and hooked. Bare stones at edge of road. Melt has been busy.
by Linda Paston
I have banked the fires
of my body
into a small but steady blaze
here in the kitchen
where the dough has a life of its own,
breathing under its damp cloth
like a sleeping child;
where the real child plays under the table,
pretending the tablecloth is a tent,
practicing departures; where a dim
brown bird dazzled by light
has flown into the windowpane
and lies stunned on the pavement--
it was never simple, even for birds,
this business of nests.
The innocent eye sees nothing, Auden says,
repeating what the snake told Eve,
what Eve told Adam, tired of gardens,
wanting the fully lived life.
But passion happens like an accident
I could let the dough spill over the rim
of the bowl, neglecting to punch it down,
neglecting the child who waits under the table,
the mild tears already smudging her eyes.
We grow in such haphazard ways.
Today I feel wiser than the bird.
I know the window shuts me in,
that when I open it
the garden smells will make me restless.
And I have banked the fires of my body
into a small domestic flame for others
to warm their hands on for a while.
(Poem, Meditation By The Stove, by Linda Pastan)
Ceiling fan circulates wood stove heat. Cat goes out into barn. There's a smell of kerosene the workman must have tipped in deep freeze behind strewn wood now pungent in thaw.
Room is quiet. Turning arms and creaking container for fire as dark pushes against windows.
The clear and obvious fact of things!
As they are.