8x10, mixed media
completed for Wilderness Art Challenge
I guess I am getting old, because I looked forward to the memorial service yesterday of a friend who passed away a couple weeks ago. This woman was a good person, a teacher, a poet, an avid reader, and an activist; the world will be poorer with her gone. I was pleased to have a chance to hug members of her extended family, her husband, daughter, sisters, nieces and nephews, all of whom I have known for more than twenty years. Tucked in between the tributes, songs and prayers were a couple of lovely poems, and I thought I would share them here, along with a short quote I found today.
Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more.
And we also once. Never again. But this having been
once, although only once, to have been of the earth,
Rilke, Duino Elegies
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of an owl?
Who has it and who doesn't?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall the black bear carries leaves into the darkness.
One question leads to another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eye of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about maple trees?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting alone in the
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?
Mary Oliver, Some Questions You Might Ask
Guests of my life,
You came in the early dawn,
And you came in the night.
Your name was uttered by the spring flowers
And the showers of rain.
You brought the harp into my life,
And you brought the lamp.
After you had taken your leave
I found God's footprints on the floor.
Now I am at the end of my pilgrimage,
I leave in the evening flowers of worship,
My salutations to you all.
Rabindranath Tagore, Guests of My Life