Everyday Magic

After the Storm

The story you’re about to read is a metaphor.

It’s also true.

*

The storm comes yesterday out of the West, where the sunset should be.  Instead, there’s a fast-moving bank of black clouds.  I feel it as a pressure behind my eyes first, and then the first clap of thunder cracks over the horizon.

I take a glass of wine with me out onto the little back stoop … lean my arms against the railing and look out over the valley, like someone who’s come to watch the most primal sort of exhibition.

(I’ve always been like this — both terrified of storms and drawn irresistibly into them.)

The clouds churn behind the trees; lightning zags close.  I should go inside, but I don’t.  I can’t look away.

I wait, and wait, until an invisible wall of air slams into the big oak and then the beech, bending them backwards, thrashing through the limbs.  The wind presses me to the screen door at my back and I gasp.

I Sing the Body Electric — all the neurons inside me crackling and standing at attention.

I am still singing when the rain comes roaring through the trees.

*

Two hours later, I walk out the front door and see this, left just beside the stoop like a fragile, bejeweled gift, its message still mysterious … 

afterthestorm

This much I know:  even the most reckless things can sometimes leave a little gentleness and beauty in their wake. ❤

 

 

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Second Glance

Same Body, Second Glance: Day Forty

August 9, 2014

Today is my fortieth day … Can you believe it?  And *this…*  This is what I’m holding onto… ❤

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{{Wondering what’s going on here??  Almost a year ago, I found myself on bad terms with the person in the mirror.  So I made a commitment:  every day for forty days, I’d take *one* photograph of my body that I could honestly see as beautiful.  Want to follow my journey?  Start here.}}

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Signs & Small Wonders

When I am on my knees at the water’s edge …

I go down to the river with my camera.

The water is slowing to ice but the shoreline is still wet, the grass flecked with drops like diamonds.  Maybe tears.  I get down on my knees and part the dead rushes, brown tufts, looking for green.

I am thinking of a certain kindred spirit, who has been gone a long time now from this place.  You wouldn’t think we two would understand each other — we couldn’t be more different, he and I — but I still hear his words muttering in every green place and am lovestruck or foolish enough to think I know what they mean:

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child?  I do not know what it is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

–Walt Whitman

This is what I am doing, I guess.  Kneeling here with wet knees, parting the grass, looking for a name — Whose?

There are so few things we can be sure of.

This much I know:  we don’t begin with the answer, but with the question.

 

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