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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Woman in Pajamas Walks on Water

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These are the days of miracle and wonder . . .  ~ Paul Simon


It fell for days and days, the snow. In the colder cold, it was down feathers, or the powder in my mother’s plastic Coty bowl, from where she doused her puff and smoothed it onto the velvet petals of her cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. I feel the silk of her good-night kiss. And smell her: freesia.

This is the habitat of the deer.

We weigh the same, the young doe and I, when she is not with child. I will never be with child again, but in this moment, we walk the same path. Next year, a fawn will come to her, from her, out of her, under her, and quickly learn to walk around her! This is how we rise and fall.

But today, I am the one who walks on water. See, her hoof inserts itself into the glove of snow. But not mine.

With March come warmer days, still cold nights, and freezing rain. The footprints the deer and I had left become crusted in frozen traps of treachery, enough to twist an ankle. Today, the surface next to our tracks is solid, and my human feet in boots skip across it like white lightning on the horizon in summer. But not the doe’s. See how her hoof inserts itself into the glove of winter, and kisses the ground.

Which of us is not a miracle?


These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry

    ~ from "The Boy in the Bubble" by Paul Simon





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43 comments:

Margaret said...

Oh, Ruth, you did it again! Yanked my heartstrings. I will have to grab a tissue when I come here to your blog in the future! :)

... I will never be with child again. (sigh) ... I am back now after kissing and squeezing the "begeebers" out of my three year old son! :)

Such beauty here, as usual. I LOVE ...glove of snow and ... frozen traps of treachery.

The Bug said...

This is a lovely meditation - and I love your pajamas!

deb colarossi said...

Favourite post ever.

Oh my , Ruth. I can't put my finger on it.. but . wow.

Susan said...

Ruthie in the blue-striped pajamas and black snow-booted feet making tracks for does to step in, and walking on water. The miracle is your prose poetry. Lovely.

Maureen said...

What a delightful, poetic post, Ruth. And that last picture is a keeper.

Jane Lancaster said...

Oh how beautiful and especially comforting when the world is mad. Oh Ruth I can't keep up with you..I am working on a blog post but sooo slowly...

Char said...

how beautiful you and deer following the same trails. how special and comforting.

erin said...

what in tarnation are you doing out there in your p.j.'s? ha!

the comparison between you and the doe is gorgeous. it felt as though i had my hands around her belly and yours.

you know, the wind is cold cold here today. i walked out over the bridge and looked toward the river and said, why, even i would walk that ice today. i don't know why, but it just felt right to share that.

xo
erin

Bruce Barone said...

Beautiful.

I wrote a poem this morning. For you and Erin. Still it needs a bit more time to simmer.

You have me thinking of Mary Oliver.

Babs-beetle said...

Those photos are....... Beautiful! ;)

cathyswatercolors said...

Silly girl you forgot your snowpants! Jazzy jammies!

As always beautiful words and photos. I heart your world.xoxox cb

Dan Gurney said...

This is how we rise and fall. Our parents live in us, we in our children. That gets clearer to me as I approach the far end.

Pat said...

What a wonderful post! And I just love that second photo!

Ruth said...

My dear Margaret, we reach out to each other. You know and love Michigan, and this landscape is yours, one of the heart it seems, as it is for me. Watching the change of seasons is also watching the seasons of a life. I imagine all the young females who will be giving birth in the coming springtime, and it warms me. I have had my childing days, and my two children fill me up. Maybe one day soon I'll be "with grandchild." :-)

Ruth said...

Dana, thank you! These jammies are one of several given me by my mother-in-law at Christmas over the years.

Ruth said...

Deb. You have such a way. Well, we feel each other.

Friko said...

As always you are squeezing the last drop of poetry out of a mundane, commonplace sight. A ramble with your mind's eye into past, present and future; all of it gentle, with a great spirit of loving.

You must be a lovely person to have around, thoughtful, peaceful and kind. I wish I knew you.

Ruth said...

Susie, did you notice that there are blue stripes on the snow too? I didn't until you wrote "blue-striped pajamas." Me mother-in-law gave them to me. Thank you, friend.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Maureen. I'm thinking only a blogger would take a picture like that. :-)

Ruth said...

Hi, Jane, I've missed you! I feel I need to apologize for posting so quickly this time after my last. Somehow it felt necessary, as if winter was slipping away and I have just a short time left to show you.

Ruth said...

Char, it's true. Every walk feels that way, special and comforting, seeing their steps. I will miss seeing their prints in snow when the snow is gone. Thank you.

Ruth said...

erin :-)

Well, it wasn't too cold, otherwise I would have put warmer pants on. And the deer and possum and birds don't care if I'm wearing jammies. They're the only ones who see me.

The body of the doe, the body of the mother, the ice, the bridge, and sharing that you would hold us and the ice that way, yes, that feels just about right.

ds said...

Another sigh-full soul-full prosem. I want to walk into that blue-striped world, too (ours is long gone). Even have the pajamas for it! ;)

Oliag said...

I do love a woman who goes out walking in her pajamas:) and with her camera:)

Lovely, lovely, lovely...

Vagabonde said...

I don’t wear pajamas but I have been known to run outside in the backyard with my nightgown. Your landscape is lovely but it looks a bit cold to me. Yesterday here it was 70 degrees with a lovely sun. The trees are in bloom and the forsythias too. I saw a deer also, but it was standing near a pine tree and shrubs in bloom. But considering that the driving distance between you and me is about 1000 kms or the distance between Paris and Berlin – it is understandable that our worlds are different. Your pajama color goes well with the shadows in the snow.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Bruce. Mary Oliver? Wonderful. I look forward to reading the poem when it's cooked just right.

Ruth said...

Thank you, my dear Babs.

Ruth said...

Cathy, yeah, I couldn't wear those jammies out in the car to the gas station, but I can wear them to the meadow. They're a sort of camouflage when I'm in the snow shadows. :-)

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Dan, might as well not resist it, right? I loved Rilke the other day when he said it's too bad in a way that parents and children aren't born at the same time. But one always goes before the other.

Ruth said...

Hi, Pat! I'm glad you noticed that one, I was quite taken with those curving shadows!

Ruth said...

Friko, your words are such a gift to me. Thank you. I would love to sit down with you and talk and talk.

Ruth said...

ds, I really love going out and seeing the shadows before the deer or I have stepped on them. Then I sort of hate leaving marks. Don't you just love winter light? So you have wintry blue shadow-striped p.j.s too? :-)

Ruth said...

Oliag, do we have the same M.O.? :-)

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, now that I have posted two winter posts, and I hear you speak of blossoming trees and yellow forsythia, I think I can begin to let winter go.

rauf said...

Panic Ruth. pyjama's don't look so warm. 'pa' are legs, 'jama' is a robe, so this is a robe for the legs, pa-jama is a Urdu word. Usually a thin material as it doesn't get very cold here. Thin cotton is very comfortable Ruth. Egyptian cotton is the best i heard.

Life itself is a miracle Ruth and waking up in the morning is another miracle, one can never be sure of waking up, but we hope and plan for tomorrow. So i wonder at the people who are swindling money from you the bankers and the people who sell you dreams, why they are doing it when they are not so sure of waking next morning.

Living in India itself is a miracle Ruth for many, with unhygienic surroundings and no value for life.

Nice to see Paul Simon here, Graceland is the best ever fusion album i have ever heard. This was recorded with South African musicians still under Apartheid. This album was hotly debated in the UN general Assembly as Paul Simon had defied the ban

The shadows on the snow are lovely Ruth. Gorgeous pictures as always

So, you are Jesus Christ then. There was no rubber then. Probably he was wearing wooden sandals. Wooden sandals without him would float, that is not a miracle. but with Jesus in them on water is indeed a miracle.

Ruth said...

rauf, I love cotton anything, and everything. These jammies are cotton flannel, very warm. On very cold days I layer long john type leggings underneath.

On the one hand, life is incredibly fragile. I agree that it's a wonder some of us wake up at all, or we don't contract terrible disease, illness, or wrong body functions. On the other hand, we are so resilient! People live on and on with terrible diets. And sometimes the healthiest most fit people die suddenly when some organ doesn't fire properly.

I love this Paul Simon album so much. I think he will go down as the best American lyricist of the 20th century.

Think of water alone, rauf. Steam, condensation, rivers, snow, clouds, ice. We see water transformed every day and think nothing of it.

rauf said...

i have tasted glacier waters Ruth. There is slight bitterness in taste i mean straight out of the glacier, and the bitter taste stays longer and you feel thirsty soon. i don't know how the same water turns sweet after a few miles down the stream.

Soul Dipper said...

I really appreciate how your mind/heart works - your insinuation of unity - both of you being the same weight.

Thank you for taking me with you.

Jane Lancaster said...

Never apologise for your lovely posts! Says me as I'm looking at that great photo of your boots and PJ's on the hoof imprinted snow..gorgeous. i'm posting a new post today at last! Once Ron is available to help me with a few technical matters! Nice of you to say you missed me!

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

This reads like a beautiful followup to your earlier "Love loves love" poem on the deer's hoofprint in the snow. The paragraph of the dance with you, the doe, the fawn to come, the rise and fall of generations, is a very evocative and stirring poem in and of itself.

Terresa said...

The title of this post is most delicious to me, and Paul Simon (a fave since childhood) and the pictures, and, of course, the pjs!! :) (that's the abbreviation for pajamas in my world!)

Deslilas said...

Snow, spring and sun that's perfect.
We're back from a fortnight in our French Alpes with my daughter and her Swedish children.

Ginnie said...

Oh Ruthie. You with the deer hooves. In your pajamas!