We Become Immortal
Through the process of learning to love
Boozhoo! Aaniin! Welcome to the midweek(ish) version of An Irritable Métis. This is where things are usually a little more random, a little less … irritable. This one is particularly self serving, I have to confess. Meanwhile, if you forgot what all this is even about, you may remind yourself here. If you want to help keep a writer out of hard labor, well….
I spent too long tonight sitting and staring out the window watching how this spring light of evening, renewed as it is every year, played across the bottom of the clouds lingering over the rocky crags of the ponderosa-covered ridge of my immediate western horizon. It feels like a miracle sometimes, doesn’t it, this changing light, all because of how this stupendous planet dips and bows to the sun? A miracle, and yet when I catch myself sitting with it my first reaction is to be irritated with myself for “wasting” time when I should be working. Yet, next to saying, “Of course!” when a fourth grade girl ended class by asking, “Can I have a hug?” it was likely the most important thing I did all day.
Now the voices of the robins, whose return is also miraculous, are kicking up with their evening vigor, the same vigor with which they were the first to begin the day, and I wonder if they slept all afternoon so as to be back at their perches as night settled in.
I saw a wood duck on the river yesterday. I also sat on the bank and watched a herons’ nest and received the gift of witnessing the male, presumably, return with food for the female perched there. Such graceful, magnificent birds. The cliff swallows are back too, careening over the water’s surface in their relentless pursuit of bugs. Never mind the great horned owls calling back and forth, the riot of red-winged blackbirds congregated in a single tree, and chickadees surrounding my truck as I hesitated to leave, reminding me I hadn’t eaten yet with their taunts of, “Cheeeeeseburger! Cheeeeeseburger!”
Speaking of miracles, I was thinking tonight to write of ways the universe provides for us at times, the way it has provided for me at times, when things just unexpectedly, against all odds, work out. It starts to sound white lighty, I know, but it happens. It happens. But I got side-tracked because I dug into One-Sentence Journal to find a specific poem related to the subject and lingered therein with lines I’d forgotten I’d written. I haven’t done this in some time. For whatever this book has come to mean to other people, it remains a collection of short stories to myself. So much has changed — I don’t fly fish anymore, I don’t really meet people for coffee and beers anymore, etc. — yet I still love the world every bit as much as I ever did. And I still miss, desperately, my little Darla the Adventure Dog.
Do you need convincing that a short poem can tell a story? We did acrostic poems today, a form I’ve never written but that I thought the kids might enjoy. They did. And a ten year-old girl wrote this poem, working off of “cat”:
Try and tell me this isn’t a cracker of a story. Try and tell me kids aren’t miracles.
Cold Weather Craft Series
Freeflow has had this ongoing series going through the winter called the Cold Weather Craft Series. Basically, each episode a writer — people like my pal Heather Hansman, Joe Wilkins, and Chandra Brown herself — does a short little audio workshop. I was happy to do one myself! You can check it out HERE if you want to hear what my voice sounds like inside my truck parked at the backside of a dead-end road. It’s only about twelve minutes long.
Glutton for Punishment?
If you listened to that and you just can’t get enough, HERE is me bloviating for about an hour with Lewistown Public Library’s “In the Stacks” podcast host (and writer!) Brittney Uecker. This was recorded just a week ago — Live! In person! — during my busiest day ever in Lewistown. It was a blast. I hope it comes across as fun as it was to do. That entire trip was wonderful. Oh, and the library there is gorgeous.
Here’s that “universe” poem (sort of) I was digging around in OSJ for. It’s a story too, if only to myself, about a particular morning, a particular day, a particular night….
Friends, I leave you with these words from Richard Wagamese, who writes, “I believe we become immortal through the process of learning to love the ones with whom we share this planet.”
Here’s to immortality, then. Chi-miigwech, as ever, for your support.
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