Sunday, December 20, 2009

For 2010: Let's Decrease Our Specific Gravity



Photo credit: Liz Owen

A Christmas cactus, blooming just once a year. Here's my metaphor for how we blossom despite everything in the world that weighs us down.

This holiday season, I share with you two poems I first heard in the heat of summer, sweating in the stands at Cornell University. A dear friend of mine graduated with her Ph.D. that day. She visited me this past weekend, sparking my memory of these poems by A.R. Ammons.

That summer of 2001, Ammons, who taught at Cornell for many years, had recently died. A colleague of his read the poems at the graduation ceremony, and I've remembered them ever since.

Reflective

I found a
weed
that had a

mirror in it
and that
mirror

looked in at
a mirror
in

me that
had a
weed in it

Correction

The burdens of the world
on my back
lighten the world
not a whit while
removing them greatly
decreases my specific
gravity.

Let's drop that weight, if we can. Let's spread our wisdom yet reserve out strength for the battles that really matter—and, always, let's feel joy, fleeting as it may be. Joy, joy, joy.


The photo of the exuberant cactus comes courtesy of my yoga teacher Liz Owen at Lizowenyoga.com. I encourage all who live in the Boston area to take a class with Liz.

The poems are from A.R. Ammons, The Selected Poems (Expanded Edition), Norton, 1986.

2 comments:

  1. I just love Correction. Thanks for sharing this, Martha. I will work on reducing my specific gravity. Happy HOlidays!
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Martha,
    Just wanted to stop by and thank you for your lovely comment on my blog today. It really meant a lot to me, coming from you.
    Blessings,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete