You gave me time. And giving that, like a master, a miser, gave away nothing. You knew this all along. For though you move in cycles and seasons, you dwell beyond, outside of time and measure, beyond the scope of words and reasons. This is what you give, then: a center, a way of being, that though it moves, lies beyond movement the way the springs of a well rise far below the moving waters of their mirrored surface where they play and spill like the dance of trees rooted upside down in heaven. How strange it seems, through the looking glass. For I know your ways, am one of them with you. Like needle, like compass, like kayak I follow you as you follow me. And moving, am moved toward you. As you like these waves, make no move at all. Croatan Sound. Albemarle Sound. Currituck Sound. Pamlico Sound. The music of a water wind beyond human names and naming.
Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside is a triumph-of-the-spirit picture with an unconventional premise: the hero, Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a quadriplegic for two decades as the result of a diving accident, is seeking the right to end his life.
Heavy the waxwings hang upon the bough, A gospel dozen, sharing summer fruits, The pyrocanthus touched with winter snow, Alive with yellow-banded crested suits. There is no solitary prophet here, Spying the setting, ranking lesser wings; They come in droves, in droves they disappear, Unlike the dove, alone no waxwing sings. Of course the birds are metaphor to me, The waxing congregation sharing all; The dove, I think, practices poetry, Solitary, an “individual.” Is it perverse to sing a lonely song, When love prescribes the place where we belong?
“I have been even as a man that hath no strength, free among the dead . . . Shall thy loving-kindness be showed in the grave?” —Psalm 88
Some days I feel as old as father Abraham, doddering father of a teen-aged daughter who last week attended her first “real” concert, at the crowded Aragon Ballroom in Uptown. When will my own days feel real again, the frozen clock hands begin to turn again? When will this chemical burning in the veins stop, and hope, perhaps, be recompensed? I wear this long wool coat against the cold that hurts me, covered with two scarves, my face covered to avoid any feeling of cobwebs, with their every thread feeling like a tiny razor blade slicing the skin. There is no ounce of benignity in this feeling. Maybe that is why the winter mask, last week found at Target, most accurately resembles a terrorist accessory, all black- hooded with eye slits. Were I to wear it, I would appear on campus like an ISIS recruit, no doubt a proud servant in his mind, clouded by the violence of the mission and sentence he honors. O the necessary horrors, those airstrikes occurring in the body’s battleground, leveled at the cells. If I were to wear the black hood, guise of a hangman (not the one hanged), I fear that campus security would target me, bucolic space locked down in emergency protocol. That’s all I would be: self-terrorist, strapped with the various wires of my sickness.
On the day the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal, Iowans Bob Vander Plaats and Donna Red Wing had a chance meeting and hugged one another—even though they are culture warriors on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate. Vander Plaats heads Family Leader, which supports traditional marriage; he believes Red Wing’s lesbian marriage is unnatural. Red Wing, head of One Iowa, an LGBT rights group, has called Vander Plaats “bigoted” and “cruel.” But a few years ago, at Red Wing’s initiative, the two met for coffee and struck up a friendship. Since then they have been trying to soften the rhetoric of their organizations while still sticking to their principles (Washington Post, July 4).