I don't feel full of words tonight - good work week - I am steadily preparing for our road trip - Chex Mix made from scratch, brownies in the oven, six changes of underwear and socks counted into the suitcase, pet food stored away for the friend who will feed dog and cat in our absence, Thanksgiving shopping and cooking squared away with Joanna (She's doing it. I'm not.) I'm excited about going away with Bob and excited about going into nature. I've been dreaming for weeks now, almost nightly, about the sand hill cranes. But I think I'd still be excited about going away with Bob if we were just going to sit in a boring room somewhere and eat bland food for five days - I really miss that man.
A friend shared a poem with me today - a poem based on a poem. You probably already know Emily Dickinson's poem about hope but if you need a reminder here it is:
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune
and never stops at all.
The newer poem, which I hadn't read before, catches so well what I feel when I say things like "Love is stronger than loss." and "Life force comes back if you let it."
The Thing With Feathers
It's the first thing you hear in the morning,
the last you hear at night.
In the woods, in the swamps,
in the old steeple, in the ruined eaves,
over the wreckage of a car
your mother drove straight into a wall,
The bird won't stop singing,
It is perched on the rafters of a house that burned to the ground.
Whenever you move, it's one hop
ahead of you. Tireless
as a creek it's a tune that will not allow itself
to be forgotten. It keeps building
and leaving its nest, all chatter, all expectation,
water singing to itself
in the shadows as well as the sunlight,
That insufferable Optimist.
No matter how many doors you slam,
curses you shout, rocks you throw,
it pops up louder than ever
on this very branch of the very tree outside your house
-as if stones must be your way of applauding.
It was singing the morning you got fired
the day you brought grief to the person
you most wanted to protect.
the evening when the great cause you'd pledged yourself to
failed. It sang
while your father was writing his suicide note,
the night your dear friend told you he was HIV positive,
the night you could find nothing remaining
to believe in, when all you wanted
was to be left alone. It sings in places so dark
you can't see into them.
It is singing out there now.