Today is my 90th birthday. It might seem confusing since I have been celebrating
this birthday for several days now.
On Saturday, 19 of my family, across three
generations including four great-grandsons, took me out to Tequila Mockingbird for dinner.
Poetry or the lyrics of songs always accompany any occasion in this family of assorted creatives. Just now I pulled out a birthday folder of 2 poems and Lizzie’s comments following each.
I intended to share one poem by Pablo Neruda,
closely related to my own art,when I noticed Lizzie’s comment on the first poem:
“The first line made me think of you and how often I say to
you that I long for you to fall in love with yourself, to
remember who you are in your startling beauty and passion.
I push this —and this poem made me realize there is no need
to push this. It happens. It happens. We find that love
when we find it — and until then —we are held in our knowing,
held in patient, loving arms, held in our troubled sleep —
held in our darkness — held in the mountains.”
Here is that first poem:
HERE IN THE MOUNTAINS
There is one memory deep inside you,
in the dark country of your life.
It is a small fire burning forever.
Even after all these years
the embers of what you have
known rest contented
in their own warmth.
Here in the mountains,
tell me all the things
you have not loved.
Their shadows will tell you
they have not gone,
they became this night
from which you drew away in fear.
Though at the trail’s end,
your heart stammers
with grief and regret
you will lead down at last
and breathe again on the
small campfire of your
And draw about You
of the black sky
which loves your fire’s
The deep shadow
you in its arms.
The low song
of the long
and patient night
that holds you
in your sleep
with that impossible light
the dark blanket
from which you were born.
Lizzie ended with ‘held in the mountains’, the mountains of memory
for us being the Catskill mountains in New York State.
I love the next to last stanza: ‘the low song of the long and patient
night that holds you in your sleep,’ —- recalling the sound sleep of
youth and memories of each annual trip up to the “country mountains”.
Thank you, one and all, who are sharing this journey with me.
with love …