Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainy Day

Dark skies, distant thunder, blowy trees, dry sidewalks. Then...ropes of water drop onto the streets and the asphalt becomes a river. Rain slams into leaves. I go to the porch to watch the show.

The clouds pull apart. The light that falls is gray-gold, same as the sky-color. But in a few moments, another pounding of rain. This time, the sun also pours through the small rents; a bright forest of rain appears—a grove of beaded curtains, hollow stalks of bamboo chimes. I run out to look for a rainbow—find a faint one tangled in the phone wires and chimneys, a low arc going from nowhere to nowhere. I take pictures of the lake that has formed in the yard: ripples carved by hard drops, shaky reflections of sky-trees-buildings, an indistinct rim of old junk. A layerer’s paradise.

In the sky now a gigantic white cloud retreats to the east; the bluest emptiness fills in the space it leaves, another generous pouring. Each is the purest tone, as though both cloud and sky were made of sound. 

It rains again. I video the silver rivulets that run down the dark gray trunk of the copper beech, the mercury slipping from its branches. Finally, evening lowers itself over all the glimmering dampness.

These storms come and go without meaning or intent; here is just occurrence, and its by-product, beauty. I think about griefs that return, love that wants to be spilled, something unfinishable that needs to be stated over and over. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The two robins who live in my sky and trees, they draw lines in space. Fast lines, color of stretched air—all the morning long the redbreasts arc and shuttle! Soon I must walk back to the house through that thick silk.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I like to be outside at night with the flowers. What do they do, not under the sun? Some close at night, making their interiors a privacy. Some remain as cups or dishes, as though a bee might still arrive, or a moon. Does the moon matter to a tulip?

One night they begin to fall apart. How does it feel to be loosened of petals?

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Last night a long drive on unfamiliar roads, the destination unrolling little by little under headlights. Comfort in being nowhere but there, and there again.

This morning, a fog; only the near is visible. Again I am placed inside now.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mountain Roads

This spring followed a small winter, drew a fast line from crocus to maple bloom. Not yet May, but even the hilltops are frilled. Hesitant or confident is only for drivers swerving around the curves.


[Note: this is a piece I wrote last year and didn't publish then.]

Early morning, and the cats are already impatient to get out there under the cold rain. The world is full of meaning, in fresh bloom of mice and voles.

I am reading about regret this morning—the difference between regret and remorse. Regret etymologically arises from old words for weeping and groaning. In a state of regret, we swim in the shallows of recirculating emotion. But remorse goes to the depths. The dictionary says remorse is "a deep and painful regret." It means, literally, "to bite again."

"Remorse chips away at actions done from a place of insufficient wisdom and gives a fresh imagination to them." (Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul, p. 297.)

To feel remorse implies the presence of conscience, the guiding knowledge we have within ourselves about what is meaningful to us, what needs our attention. To change regret to remorse is to move from bemoaning to awareness and new understanding. Remorse asks that we attend, reflect, look further, sink deeper.

Cats do not appear to have regrets.

April, Onota Lake