Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In the round

Individual mille fiore glass beads.
The circle encloses.  As a design form it appeals to what sense of tidiness I possess.  Unless we consider piles to be tidy.  At those I excel.

Mille fiore glass paperweight.
They remind me of cells, studied through a high school microscope.  Undersea life, shape within shape.  On some days lines and grids beg my attention, today it is circles, the candy-like elements of Italian glass and, simply, the circle.
Fabric by designer Kaffe Fassett.
Thinking today of poets and poetry, of ways in which we return to the beginnng.  A friend shared this poem by Philip Levine yesterday, with the mention that he died on Valentine's Day.

Let me begin again as a speck
of dust caught in the night winds
sweeping out to sea. Let me begin
this time knowing the world is
salt water and dark clouds, the world
is grinding and sighing all night, and dawn
comes slowly and changes nothing. Let
me go back to land after a lifetime
of going nowhere. This time lodged
in the feathers of some scavenging gull
white above the black ship that docks
and broods upon the oily waters of
your harbor…Tonight I shall enter my life
after being at sea for ages, quietly,
in a hospital named for an automobile.
The one child of millions of children
who has flown alone by the stars
above the black wastes of moonless waters
that stretched forever, who has turned
golden in the full sun of a new day.
A tiny wise child who this time will love
his life because it is like no other.

—from "LET ME BEGIN AGAIN," by Philip Levine

"I got that phrase 'let me begin again' in my head, and the images took me to an emotional field that must have been waiting inside me for some kind of release. I realized that I wanted to enter my life exactly as I had the first time but with one huge difference: this time I wanted to love my life and myself. I was suddenly struck by the fact that in spite of the impossible and unique gift of a life, it took me so long to learn that I and my life were lovable."—former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, Paris Review interview

Survivors of trauma, working with pick-and-shovel, know the circle in another of its guises, the spiral.  When, after years of often exhausting effort in common and unconventional modalities, we raise our eyes to behold places we thought belonged to the past, there is momentary despair until we remember the spiral may have a familiar view but at a different level.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

Beautiful poem! And I love the button card.

Barbara said...

Beautiful words, and timely. Feeling emotional today, on the birthday of a loved one who cast me aside. Wishing to begin again, to love my life.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - I found the poem spoke so clearly to me, perhaps I need to see if I can memorize it, at least read it out loud to know its sound. And I will always hanker to own mille fiori beads or buttons. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Barbara - The discomfort of a day, a place where it feels as though we put on the wrong skin. One of the things I love and have almost stopped being surprised by is the timely arrival of balm in some form. Your wish is the same as mine. Philip Levine said it so clearly, so true. We know more than we did yesterday. I hope that helps. xo

Melissa Green said...

'A tiny wise child who this time will love his life because it is like no other.'

There's a reason we go to the poets of this world, for comfort, for understanding, for balm--this gorgeous poem made me cry today, so hard, and I thought I already knew it--we have to remember that tears are cleansing, Barbara, and each one a drop of honey (the same as balm) which will help heal what cannot be changed.

And the mille fiori is so perfect, Marylyn. It does look like a cell, like the circle of the seasons, the earth, its orbit, each one 'a thousand flowers'--a blessing, I'd call it, a thousand flowers.

Cheer up, girls! We get to enter our lives anew every morning, every hour. Think of how many chances we have to love ourselves and to love our lives, better this time, with the love we deserve, just by being who we are. Mille fiori blessings.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - Your comment DID appear, and thank you. Each tear also a flower, a thousand flowers, also a blessing and a cleansing. So much to learn, so many ways to change our minds, our hearts. xo

Kass said...

Wonderful poem.
I have a friend who is a landscape architect and uses a lot of spirals in her designs...and of course, we have the Spiral Jetty here in Utah. Spiral Jetty

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - The Spiral Jetty speaks eloquently of the form. It looks like a quirky, natural form. Reminds me of Gaudi, as I imagine your friend's landscape work would. And the poem, I know. xo

Barbara said...

Yes Marylinn, it does help. You have such a way of putting the words together, they always help. I believe it was you who said something like "we must stop breaking our own hearts, over what cannot be changed".

Lovely words from Melissa also, thank you both.

Every time a poem brings me to my knees, I am reminded, that yes, we can begin anew. I've been in need of those reminders of late, more than I realized.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Barbara - Thank you, and also for remembering earlier words. If you are interested in more of Melissa's eloquent words, here is a link:
It is so easy to forget that in any moment we can choose to reframe our perceptions, our attitudes. All that frightens or discourages us feels as though it has such enormous momentum we could not escape. We can. We get to help each other remember. xo