alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My coat

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My coat is not big enough
for the body of the world.
But it is too big for me alone.
The sleeves hang like bells,
my arms ringing for someone to hold.

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57 comments:

Susan said...

Yes. That's exactly how I feel.

Bonnie said...

We do need to hold close to each other - especially now. An exquisite image Ruth.

Louise Gallagher said...

Beautiful image.

Beautiful words.

thank you!

Marcie said...

So much said..in so few words. It feels as if we are all holding tight to one another these days.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

A wondrous little gem, Ruth. I imagine the horrific developments in Japan have made me more sensitive than usual, but I find this such a moving poem to "hear" at this moment right now --- the cruelly futile desire and need to protect the world, the feeling that we bear is not big enough for the world but is certainly outsized for us ... and those sleeves like bells! Haunting. The "arms ringing for someone to hold" is absolutely beautiful --- are we all just flailing our arms futilely?

Dianne said...

Ruth, this has so many messages, arms are calling, and perhaps they work for others in holding the world........

take care,
Dianne

ds said...

Beautiful and perfect. Thank you.

George said...

Beautiful and moving, Ruth, and how many other arms ring for someone to hold in seemingly mad world? Mine do.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Simplicity at its best, Ruth. It says it all for me.

Friko said...

If we all share our coats, wearing them side by side, holding them open, stretching our arms wide to embrace our neighbour and our neighbour and our neighbour, perhaps then we can create an image as delicate yet strong as the one in your photo.

Maureen said...

So lovely, Ruth. I can see the bell-shaped sleeves (they remind me of Buddhist bells) and hear how sonorously they toll.

The Solitary Walker said...

Exquisite, Ruth.

Margaret said...

The photo is poetry by itself, but then you go the extra step and put your beautiful mind before us. Thank you.

Arti said...

Using Linda's (shoreacres) metaphor, I long to have porch experience where we can sit and chat, that's one way of holding onto each other's sleeves and ring out our bells together. Your poem also reminds my of the Dylan song If I have a hammer... a bell... While we can't have actual face time, I consider leaving comments on each other's blog a kind of porch chatting... albeit not in real time. Thanks for sharing your porch and yes, let's ring our bells together in this most troubling time.

Cait O'Connor said...

That is a beautiful poem. How you can say so much with so few words and speak for so many. Thank you.

neighbor said...

Dear Ruth,

thank you for these images (photo/poetic) which are so elegant, so, evocative of what it means to be here, in the wake of the sorrow this world can make us bear.

In the past few weeks I've been moved again and again by your poetry and posts. I don't comment often, sometimes for lack of words, of unique words (because all your other readers say them first), sometimes just because I can't keep up with other online things and so my responses don't happen here, where I'd really actually like them to.

But I'll say it now. I am always pulled to pause and consider and reflect after coming here. And though I don't pull it off with nearly the skill you do, you inspire me to work toward such elegance in my own posts.

Jeanie said...

What an evocative poem, Ruth. I see it, the images. But mostly I FEEL it.

Loring Wirbel said...

OMG, beautiful. Not everyone can carry the weight of the world. But we can see how many people we can stuff inside Ruth's overcoat!

Ruth said...

Susie, sister of my heart. Yes.

Ruth said...

Bonnie, maybe one good thing about tragedy is how we turn to one another, and hold each other.

Ruth said...

Louise, thank you. The bamboo that morning last June was alive with water and light.

Ruth said...

Marcie, this decade since 9/11 seems especially harsh, though I don't know if it is truly more so than before. It feels more intense and frequent, and it does feel that all we can do is embrace one another, and our brothers and sisters at a distance who are in the midst of suffering.

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, thank you so much for seeing and getting the image that came so suddenly to me yesterday, out of a deep urge to find words for this tension between our "oversized" feelings (perfect word for it) and yet our inadequacy to do much about them. And your question at the end is exactly the image that was in my mind too, from slow arm-clappers tolling, to the almost panicked flailing arms that would create a cacophony of ringing, something like the squawks, screeches and songs from starlings who flew from treetop to treetop here yesterday while I walked among those trees.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Dianne. That's beautiful, to think of our arms working for others in holding the world. If we were in need, it would mean so much to know others around the world reaching out in all ways possible.

Ruth said...

ds, thank you, my friend and sister of the heart.

Ruth said...

George, thank you, my dear friend. We turn to one another out of frustration, helplessness and even fear, and maybe also because in comforting one another we feel we are also comforting those we can't touch who need it so much more. I hope and believe that how we turn to one another here matters, in many ways. But regardless, I do it because I need to. Thank you for being there.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Amy, I am grateful for you.

Ruth said...

Friko, the multiplication in your image is hopeful, and reminds me that "one at a time" matters, and I think even increases exponentially when people join forces. It is not just one + one = two, but one + one + one + one = Oneness, maybe times infinity. Thank you, my friend.

Ruth said...

Maureen, thank you for that, because I "heard" the soft mellow bong of Buddhist bells too.

Ruth said...

Robert, thanks for that, my good friend.

Ruth said...

Margaret, I wanted so much to say what I, and so many of us feel now. It's hard to get our hearts and minds around it, well impossible really. Sometimes words help a little. Thank you.

João said...

Brilliant.

Ruth said...

Arti, I wholeheartedly agree with you and Linda about porch sitting, and that our blogs are that for me. It is so important! At times like this, when we feel desperate to reach out and help, it is a comfort to find like minded and kindred spirits who share the urge and the frustration too. Yes, we can keep hammering our hammers, ringing our bells, and singing our songs together. Don't stop!

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Cait, I'm very grateful you feel that. Thank you. It feels good connecting with you so far away.

Ruth said...

Dear Neighbor, I am touched and moved by your beautiful, kind comment. If you find all that you say here, I feel humbled and honored. Inspiration is such a beautiful spark, one that I need more than anything to get through the difficulties of our world. Sparks light the way, and they also get things started, new fires. I find in you a dear and kindred spirit in the fire making. Thank you, my friend.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, ahh, and that, my friend, makes all the difference. All the best stuff happens out of that place.

Ruth said...

Loring, your sweet comment really made me smile when I got home last night. Thank you. And Don told me about your wonderful FB post, which I need to check out. We need you to keep lighting the way. Bless you.

jan said...

Oh this is so beautiful and painful at the same time.

I hear longing and helplessness but at the same time an awareness of the responsibility to do something with the space inside your coat.

Thank you.

Tess Kincaid said...

Gorgeous pairing of image and words. And so timely, too. Thank you.

deb colarossi said...

oh, Ruth.

That photo.
Your words.

you pierce a soul...

I have a few of your posts to "catch up" on, but I may sit with this today.

Babs-beetle said...

I've seen that photo before, and I love it! It's just so 'delicate'- beautiful ;)

Julie said...

Oh, Ruth. What a beautiful poem and picture. The poem is sad and beautiful at the same time--and captures the feeling perfectly. I want to hold the world and help the ones who need comfort, but my coat is not big enough. So true. I love your words...and your huge heart.

Terresa said...

Short and perfect are the sleeves, then, I hope.

photowannabe said...

So touching Ruth. We definitely need to hold each other in times like these.
Beautifully said.

Miss Jane said...

Wonderful, a poignant chiming here.

Ruth said...

Jan, yes, thank you, and welcome to my blog. So glad to have you here.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Tess.

Ruth said...

Hello, Deb, yes, I've missed you. And I must read yours since you're back too. Thank you. Our souls are broken together.

Ruth said...

Babs, you have a good memory. Yes, I posted it in a bamboo post. Thank you. :-)

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, Julie. As Friko suggested, maybe if we all hold our coats together side-by-side, our coats will be big enough.

Ruth said...

Terresa, ringing with you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sue. I hope you are well!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Miss Jane, and welcome!

Ruth said...

Obrigada, João.

More Than Meets the I said...

Beautiful and soulful... I love it :)

Char said...

oh yes...this is exactly how i feel

Ginnie said...

The collective 'holding' of each other right now, Ruth, is what it must mean to be the Imago Dei?