“There’s this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.
What does the world
mean to you if you can’t trust it
to go on shining when you’re
not there? And there’s
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
-Excerpt from October by Mary Oliver
The streets are desolate. Businesses are dark and shuttered. There is no traffic, no transit, no pedestrians. This is Boston. This is New York. This is Portland, Maine. Every…
“Do those bells always ring?” I ask. It is turning six, and my time is up.
My therapist looks up from his iPad and smiles, “Only this time of year, you can hear them better.”
“They sound so clear,” I say.
The church isn’t far away, just a block up the street. I am embarrassed by my lack of awareness. I’ve been seeing this particular shrink for over a year, and never once noticed the bells that ring timely after each session is through.
Jack is kind enough to assure me I’m not the only one who hasn’t noticed the…
I can tell you what I am afraid of, but first, let me start this fire. After all, in stories about creation, there is often some reference to the important part fire plays at the beginning of a story. Last night my husband, Nick, filled the wood box so I need not concern myself with such things. He is thoughtful like that — always considerate of others and how he can lessen their burdens. To start a good fire, one cannot just chock a stove full and strike a match. There is an art to building a good fire, which…
“Whether what we sense of this world
is the what of this world only, or the what
of which of several possible worlds
— which what? — something of what we sense
may be true, may be the world, what it is, what we sense.
For the rest, a truce is possible, the tolerance
of travelers, eating foreign foods, trying words
that twist the tongue, to feel that time and place,
not thinking that this is the real world.”
-Metonymy as an Approach to a Real World,
William Bronk (1964)
When I become frustrated or feel uncertain about the direction…