I read today and remembered why. The thing is, I’d forgotten it as pleasure.
Countless messages, subscriptions to opinions and advice of others to equip my writing, prepare my way, make me more writerly. So many voices, is there room for mine?
So, I skimmed my “pins” saved to my “Makes me Think” board and I remembered my last and most beautiful to me book, The Kite Runner.
I understood the story, it was truth for me.
Then, I went for beauty and I wondered still how can it be I’d gone my whole life without the gloriously truthful poetry of Mary Oliver in my life, my heart?
I sat with her words, sipping berry infused tea as I thought of a promise to myself, an essay submission, a friend committed to critique and I’m only 200 words in.
There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like telling someone you love them.
Or giving your money away, all of it.
Your heart is beating, isn’t it?
You’re not in chains are you? There is nothing more pathetic than caution
when headlong might save a life,
even, possibly, your own.
Then, I settled into Sunday afternoon empty house, content with alone. I continued on the trek with Andra Watkins, reading, prompted by guilt over an unfulfilled promise, Not Without My Father.
I thrilled over understanding, I smiled over connectedness. A book about walking the Natchez Trace because a person who is a big part of history walked this same trail, long-suffering and anguished. I was reluctant. Not a history person, yet, I longed to read the book.
Then, it happened about midway through!
She wrote of giving up or not. She wrote of longing to be noticed. She wrote of the anguish of being understood or of at least being seen. And her father told her he saw her, he noticed. He was proud. She was tough, tougher than he imagined. So, she cried over the gift of exactly what she’d been longing to receive, to know.
Then, I continue with her. I’m walking the trail reading the book and joy of all joys, she knows about the red birds, she believes in the cardinal, her “Mamaw” beckoning her, fluttering and following, saying “continue” and telling her it will be good from now on.
She is assured. So am I.
On Saturday, I walked and I thought of words and verses and truth. A bare tree, hosting a bevy of grey and tiny birds, I stopped to stare.
I walked on and decided, those birds were there so I’d notice and look towards the sky, to God and to good.
I thought of my beliefs in the moments like this, so real they’re like treasure. I thought of writing, of sharing the emotion of seeing birds fill a tree up high against sky blue.
I thought of keeping silent, of not describing this Saturday afternoon occurrence of birds for the sake of those who think less of the notice of God, of birds, of word.
Then decided, surely there’s another who might be waiting to say “Yes, I saw them too..oh, the beauty of it all.”
Words, sky, scripture, truth and birds up high in lonely tree
Beauty, waiting for us to see.