Friday, December 17, 2010

The metaphor of the body.

There are days when I need something to help organize my thoughts and lift my spirits. I need an intention. I need direction. I need a little beauty. Some days, I even need help knowing how to feel. Today is one of those days.

We are moving toward the darkest day of the year, literally, and I can feel the narrowing of my own soul. So I turned to Mary Oliver, my favorite poet in the whole world, for some inspiration.

Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body's world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is --

so it enters us --
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

Mary Oliver

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