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Thursday, September 15, 2011

S.O.S.

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Through the window this morning, flickering behind poplar leaves, the sun rose. Was it S.O.S. he coded? I was on the phone, but I wanted to end it, someone else was calling. What if I, and only I, were the last hope of the sun, losing his way? Now tonight, three flaming candle wicks in glass duck and bob in the corner of this dimly lit bathtub like ladies urgently gossiping around a red tablecloth. I can almost hear them lisping. Yellow heads beat toward each other, but not toward me, and too rapidly and quietly to be comprehended while I am submerged, steamed and exhausted into stillness—eyes fixed on them and nearly hypnotized into sleep. I am an outsider, the last to know, and then, slow to respond. Is it urgency when poplar leaves twist and flutter like drowning hands? Or are they not drowning, but waving? Earthy sheaves of leaf and flesh lace over what burns and glows. Even just atmosphere alone flips the flame into frenzy. Glimpsing, we see some truth of it. But the light is still, in itself, and does not need rescuing.



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28 comments:

erin said...

i can not comment on the content of the prose right now for i am laid still with the atomosphere. this reminds me of james salter's light years, saying, not saying, but showing.

gorgeous.

(the faucet drips into space like a planet.)

xo
erin

Louise Gallagher said...

The light never needs rescuing.

But sometimes, it rescues us.

Maybe even most times.

it rescues us from the dark and moves us into magic.

Like your prose.

Magic.

Loring Wirbel said...

The simply-is is made golden by the light. Thanks for sharing some, we're in a multi-day rain torrent, which conveniently arrived just as the roof was being replaced! Blessings.

hedgewitch said...

Contrasts and flips of the expected, islands coalescing and scattering, a word jeweler's meticulous work of adornment and art, everything here is as alive with complexity and purpose as a breathing organism. Beautiful, and beyond beautiful into the interior.

missing moments said...

Just waving goodbye ... to days of summer.
Always loving your words!

Oliag said...

I think of it as dancing when the light is made to flutter like this...It is not the light that needs rescuing it does rescue and dance with us:) I will be missing the light in the coming months...

amy@ Souldipper said...

What a promise that I could, perhaps, be like the light.

Lil Coyote said...

isn't it something? we really can't even control a candle's flicker, yet we wake thinking we need guide the sun.
thank God for the night when we have known our failings and can surrender control
Rick

jen revved said...

how lovely-- all of this has come to life within my heart's proscenium-- besitos...J

Ruth said...

erin, Salter's book sounds intriguing, about a couple who let cracks into their relationship. What comes through cracks? Light, grass, and sometimes chasms.

And that faucet.

Thank you, my friend.

Ruth said...

Louise, the light can always rescue us, if we let it. It's right here, inside.

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Yikes, Loring! Well good you're getting the new roof before snow flies and you and the roof get loaded. And thanks for the musical reviews! Even though you groused a bit about Girls, I'm listening to Father, Son and Holy Ghost now. :-)

Ruth said...

Hedge, thanks for feeling this piece, which is a bit difficult, even for me some reads. Yet sometimes, I feel it as if there is nothing else, just light, and we just keep pulling the drapes back.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Reena! Just love how poplar leaves wave.

Ruth said...

Oliag, me, I love the winter light. But it does take some adjusting to go to work and come home from work in the dark.

Ruth said...

Amy, you are light.

Ruth said...

Rick, thanks for reading and understanding.

Ruth said...

Thanks for reading, Jen, and for that great word proscenium. I love the image of the heart's.

Brendan said...

This business of photosynthesis is the so deadly earnest ... A simultaneous waking and stretch toward the sun as soon as it hefts over the horizon. Rilke in the Sonnets once saw a flower's petals strained to its widest portal in order to receive the solar music with the widest mouth. So what are we feeding on, anyway, in moonlight? Why is it wisest to plant according to cycles of the moon? Mysteries. Perhaps drowning and waving at once. - Brendan

Nelson said...

And the sunflower's seed pod's back is toward the rising sun....

What an interesting image, with invisible color surrounded by the color of morning....

George said...

No, I don't think the poplar leaves are drowning. They are waving, always trying to get our attention, always telling us to stop and see how the light breaks across seed pods and picket fences, and when we have paid attention, they wave fans across our sleepy eyes, now consenting to our submersion into stillness. I'm delighted to know that you have found at least a moment in which to find rest from your increasingly busy life.

Ruth said...

Brendan, that's a great image, of the flower expanding to have as much surface receive sunlight. I don't know the answer to the question about moonlight, but I know I've usually been drawn to reflected light more than to direct sunlight. Maybe the glimpses of light we have are tips of the iceberg, giving us a lifetime's work. If we had all the light always, what would we have to do? Thanks for reading.

Ruth said...

Nelson, maybe sunflowers become heavy with sunlight by the autumn, saturated.

Ruth said...

George, so well you read this [difficult, dense, strange] piece that is riddled with questions and exhaustion, but stilled with peace too. Thank you.

I love the poem by Stevie Smith that I allude to, and you are probably familiar with, Not Waving but Drowning.

Susan said...

Many times I have had to send out an S.O.S, and every time I have been rescued by the light. Still finding my way to the light this time. Love you for this.

Jeanie said...

Yes, indeed, it is coming, it is here -- maybe not officially, but the faded basil, drooping flowers, early bursts of color and falling leaves are signs we can't ignore.

Margaret said...

stunning photography. I love the angle on the sunflower and the sun's rays through the fence slats.

while I am submerged, steamed and exhausted into stillness—eyes fixed on them and nearly hypnotized into sleep.

As always, beautiful words...

ds said...

How did I miss this, so beautiful? You did not need the photographs, lovely as they are. Your words are rich.
Thank you.

Will have to look for Mr. Salter's book; I have Dusk and Last Night both recommended if you don't already know them (but I am guessing that you do).