"I have a permanent impression. Monsieur Le Prince is inside me. Forever. There's a place where emotions are intact. A room. A permanent association. Whole days scatter into the blue when Monsieur Le Prince reaches out: then my favorite lover condenses into a single, mythical moment. An instant can be an event. An instant can be a fatal event. An instant is sufficient. I'm not fooling: that's all it took. All at once my heart became a place full of light. All aflame. A brilliant shrine. A star. It's still a heart. It's 1975 and I'm not sorry I've died for love."
As a child, on dark October mornings, rain would knock at my window. I limp down the stairs, yearning for someone to have been before me. (I had quite liked these mornings for this reason)
My mother with her feet up on the table in a voiceless conversation with the gray blue light that blanketed the garden window...
My father at the head of the table, drinking from his tooth colored cup, stained with coffee. His glasses, fogging...
This was the pocket under the quilt. The belly of heat that preserved your spirit, and made the cold, damp air more delicious. The invisible, warm, yellow light that put that gray blue outside beside ourselves.
But if not, I would sit in my seat, and gnaw at the kitchen table. Veneer and shellac crunching under my teeth, listening internally to my bones squeak and chafe, like starch, as they slowly began to wake.
On dark October mornings, when rain would knock at our garden window, and the gray blue outside would flood into our kitchen, my father would turn on the lights. I would ask him, knowing the reason why, why we would turn on the lights if it was morning. And he responded: "Because it is dark, even though it is morning." And this validation and allowance filled me with the greatest happiness and comfort, my nose flooding with the delicious perfume of a thick rain, and the warmth of an inner light.
I Don't Want to Lose
by Mary Oliver
I don't want to lose a single thread
from the intricate brocade of this happiness.
I want to remember everything.
Which is why I'm lying awake, sleepy
but not sleepy enough to give it up.
Just now, a moment from years ago:
the early morning light, the deft, sweet
gesture of your hand
reaching for me.
“I think poetry and the silence of the inner life are related, are connected — don’t you think? You read a poem, and you say, ‘Ah.’ And then you listen to what it brings out inside of you. And what it is is not words. It’s silence.”
She says silence is “the source of so much of what we need to get through our lives.” It allows us to reach places of greater depth — calling up something in us and turning us back into ourselves. “That’s why reading poetry, reading it alone silently takes us someplace where we can’t get ordinarily. Poetry opens us to this otherness that exists within us,” she says.
- from OnBeing, "Presence is also what draws the poet Marilyn Nelson to silence. We’re revisiting her 2017 conversation with Krista this week"