Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Sunset and Sunrise

The Fist | Mary Oliver

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for yet another challenging poem. I imagine you watching us, willing us to do better. My comments follow your poem.

The Fist

There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course

if you see anything
in the heavens
in this way
you had better get

your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens

have no fist,
or wouldn’t they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,

and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind—

heaven’s own
creation?
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness

to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices—

only, so far, in
pockets of the world—
suggesting
the possibilities

of peace?
Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation.

© 2006 by Mary Oliver, poem found on pp. 46-47 of Thirst,
Published by Beacon Press

Dear Mary Oliver,

I don’t know where to begin. Things are such a mess down here since you left. And still the sun goes down, often in blazes of glory that fade and then, right on time, return the next day.

Never resting, really. Just moving on to circle this war-weary earth every 24 hours so everyone knows we haven’t been left to our own devices, or shut down due to human failure.

As if it weren’t amazing enough to see the sun setting, songbirds join in the morning sunrise chorus. Especially in spring when their hormones seem to go wild with passion. Or at least the urge to procreate.

This morning I watched with disbelief as a fat red robin jumped into a pan of freezing cold water and splashed away before running off to pursue a female robin. Just two minutes later, a small gray junco did the same thing even though, as you know, they don’t procreate here in Pennsylvania. Are they crazy? Do they know something I don’t know, sitting behind my kitchen window, shivering?

There’s so much we don’t know right now. Why did this person got Covid and die while that person didn’t? Or why did my friend die who didn’t have Covid at all?

When I was growing up, they said most brutish behaviors were about lack of self-control. Today I’d say most of our crazy choices seem to be about fear. Not fear of Covid, but fear of having our “rights” taken away. I’m sorry to say we don’t seem to be softening as a nation, cleaning up our brutish ways, or finding our places in this strange world.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all accept the sun’s invitation? I imagine us jumping into the cold water together to clean our tired bodies and revive our aching souls.

I hope you’re doing well today. And please, pray for us as you’re able.

Your admirer,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 March 2021
Sun setting over a city found at wallpaperaccess.com

 

 

River Scenes | Viking Cruise

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There’s nothing so serene as gliding through calm water in the late afternoon and overnight into the early morning. Especially when you know you’re on time. D took the photo above when we got to the Amsterdam harbor on time in early afternoon. He took the two photos below as we left on time in late afternoon. Getting out of the harbor for a two-week cruise is one thing. Then there are more than 60 locks to navigate before completing the cruise. The Rhine, Main and Danube rivers aren’t very wide, and reservations for lock passage are set in concrete two years out. Be in line on time or be sorry! And no butting in.

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Serenity

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Rounding a corner; campground and village in the distance.

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Sunset, taken from the top deck.
Do you see the small campground in the third photo below?

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Early the next morning —
Notice the  water level and houses with the river dike between.
Also note the walking/biking path along the dike.
Imagine living below the river line
and looking up over the dike from an attic window or rooftop.

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Breakfast time!
Note the rising sun reflected in the river.

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Until we left Amsterdam, I can’t say I felt very serene. Just exhausted, hungry and in need of downtime for body, soul, mind and emotions. The cruise was a priceless gift. I’ve always been drawn to rivers, oceans, ponds, lakes, creeks and waterfalls. It felt like coming home, even though it wasn’t. Hoping you find some serenity this weekend.

To be continued….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 February 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, July 2016

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