this, that, or the other thing

10/17/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

Here is another poem of sorts I read from the realm of Chinese last weekend:

“Picking chrysanthemums along the east fence; gazing in silence at the Southern Hills, the birds flying home in pairs through the soft mountain air of dusk — In these things there is a deep meaning. But when we try to express it, we suddenly forget the words.”

And from a Mary Oliver poem this morning:

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

Telling about the astonishment and grief and tenderness and painfullness and the beauty of life, of the day, and yet, forgetting all the words. I looked up the definition of ‘dilemma’ and it felt too negative. It pointed toward ‘puzzle’, a bit better. ‘Invitation’ seems like another possibility, and from Mary Oliver’s poem by that name, maybe the best word of all for me:

“Oh do you have time to linger for just a little while out of your busy and very important day…….”