Thursday, April 21, 2005

Poem of the Week

This one is from V.B. Price, local poet, thinker, columnist, editor, and general, all-around Renaissance person.

He read this the other night at Bookworks, and I thought it uniquely captured where my politics have been lately. It's from his latest book of poems called Mythwaking, a collection bringing Greek gods to life, a modern sequel to the Homeric Hymns. More importantly, these poems are little windows into the reality of more-human than human behavior.

This particular poem is about the balance that will have to come eventually between our capitalist use of our natural resources and the natural world that supports us. This connection, largely unacknowledged in our "First Worlds," is unarguable, inescapable, and largely uncontrollable, as we saw with heartbreaking reality this December with the terrible Tsunami. We have moved out of this balance, but it will come for us and reign us in. But don't take my word for it; that's what poetry is for.

So without much more ado, the poem "Artemis" (goddess of the hunt, the untamed and untameable -- but you'll get all you need to know in the poem, not to worry):

Bear mother, supple,
child-tumbling, ferocious

with love,

Great Artemis, cyclone
of perfection,

She is called Kallisto,
the most beautiful

in Her playing
and in Her rage.

Goddess of unmarred snow,
of nine year old girls,

of magma, infancy,
of inner poise, integrity,

all boundlessness,
the holy spirit of the undisturbed,

we hear of Her still
on a mesa of grasses,

and sage steppes,
ungrazed Artemisia

moon gray,
untouched for ten thousand years,

in Utah,
not Arkadia,

the goddess of No Man's Mesa
who won't tolerate

being looked at,
and is never to be touched.

Scar roads through Her meadows
and she knows no mercy.

She is everywhere
we've never been,

the goddess of places no one should go.
In the moonlight forever,

we can barely see
menageries of spring-born

dancing in Her honor
in the perfect

place before beginning
which never ends.

That's as close to Her
as we may get:

observers of strange dancing.
We must praise Her

far away
in our minds.

Great Artemis, savior
of the unexplored,

goddess of the feral
who loathes extinctions,

who is the cause of all extinction,
mistress of the fittest

and the least fit,
of all that is fruitful

in itself, for no
other purpose,

Goddess, when nothing clean and early
is left upon the earth,

when what we do
with consciousness

leaves our minds
so musclebound

we're paralyzed
confusing power

with survival,
will You stop us,

take the world back from us,
year by disastrous year?

Or will you save
what's left of us that's wild,

teach us,
how to free ourselves again,

how to be
untamed, like You,

by appetite and grasping,
by the yokes

of status and possession,
luxury and speed?

You are never
not free, even now.

And we are waiting.
We know You will make something happen,

some terrible change
we could never foretell

-- like leaves turning poison,
or birds farting smog,

like skin
eating muscle,

or dirt
eating seeds

--something will shake us,
will force us

to submit,

And from the debris,

the die off,
the judgment

of cause and effect,
You will arise

clean as all beginnings
in minds

craving freedom
more than license,

liberty more
than plenty.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Life moves

Interesting that life moves with or without you.

After falling apart, everything seems to be coming together again, and I feel ... adult.

At home in my own skin, I guess. I've lost a lot of expectations and false pressure to have certain things at certain times of my life. For this moment, I'm just where I am, with no thoughts for the future. I see only a few tasks that lie straight ahead -- a steady concentration toward my thesis topic -- finding my place at a new job -- and settling into friendships that have been peripheral for too long.

My next major area of learning is around asking for help. I've had to be an adult from a very young age, but part of me knew I was faking it, or that it wasn't fair to ask of me in the first place. So some small someone in me wanted so much to BE an adult so that I could finally get a childhood. Doesn't quite work that way, but tell that to the undeveloped 5 year old in you! And mostly what I want out of the childhood is the right to ask for help. Just being free from my own expectation that I have to do everything myself or risk being vulnerable or risk being rejected. So I realized just this week that I don't need to be a child, I just have to practice asking for help and letting that be okay. Trusting the people around me to say yes or no based on their lives and their boundaries. Not letting it be about rejection or acceptance. Letting it be okay not to be competent in every area. Admitting when I can't do it myself. Letting someone see that!

Whew. I'm getting all nervous just thinking about that! But what I've learned about my life in the past month is that I have plenty of heart-friends about who would do anything they could for me at the drop of a hat. All I have to do is let them know I need it!

So here's me telling the world: I need.

Now was that so hard?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Not-so-fresh Start: End of Week 1

Made it to Friday.

Recovering from an almost-debilitating cold (you can't call in sick in your first week of a new job!!).

Recovered my escapist puppy from doggy jail. Jeff saved the day again by letting me deposit the little Houdini without much of a backward glance in his backyard. Set to repair the gate today.

Moved all but two boxes into the house. Room painted (thanks again to my handy man). Closet set up.

New computer, new backpack, new phone, new memory stick, new monitor. Car insurance reinstated on the Toyota. Cell phone rebate almost ready to mail. Memory stick rebate almost almost ready to mail. Walking today to take care of registering my new hybrid with the city so I can park at meters for free (what a benny, no?!).

This weekend: to start and finish my school project due Tuesday. No biggy, right? Only a 10-page paper and a poster. So doable. (Here's hoping.)

I keep telling myself one step at a time. If only life would listen!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Fresh Start: Day One

Spent the weekend moving and moving and moving.

Jeff was incredibly helpful, although we were both incredibly sad.

The dog will move tonight, with the shoes, the last of the books, and last but not least, the old (once new in CHICAGO) computer.

New computer's on the way. Picked up a change of address form during lunch, downtown at the Plazeria or whatever that thing's called. I like, work downtown and stuff. I walk to the CBD, yo. And like, grab a sandwich and drop off my mail. Dude.

And the new job? Good, I think. Good prospects. Solid future. I think I can do what I want here in terms of learning and professional development. It's all very place-based, which I find tremendously comforting after a year and a half in limbo-land writing feasibility studies for Ports of Entry where the only discussion of communities was how to appease them enough to get them to stop coming to meetings. Ouch.

There's work to do here, and things to learn. Oh lord, just let me keep some focus.


Here's the first foot in front of the other.