not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

and the night was large

 and i had nothing to say

(*please scroll to see the full world of the heron as i couldn't bear to make its world any smaller)



    I know not how thou singest, my master! I ever listen in silent

    The light of thy music illumines the world. The life breath of
    thy music runs from sky to sky. The holy stream of thy music
    breaks through all stony obstacles and rushes on.

    My heart longs to join in thy song, but vainly struggles for a
    voice. I would speak, but speech breaks not into song, and I cry
    out baffled. Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless
    meshes of thy music, my master!

    — Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali

  2. absolute perfection!))))))))))))))))

    thank you a thousand times thank you))))


  3. That crane is embracing its world — no, all of our world — in its outspread wings.

    Gorgeous poem that Ruth has shared.

  4. i try to imagine the heron's world, amanda, or all of our world as the heron might see it, and of course i can't. i can only think of the jane hirshfield poem, "Beneath the Snow, The Badger's Steady Breathing" i brought by ruth's last post. it must be like that for any animal, i suppose, although we so often imbue birds with more soulful existences.

    that said, even reducing everything to the physical world, as it is reduced for the animal, even these photographs which are raw substance only (born from a machine for god's sake) speak spirit to me. the heron speaks spirit to me, as do the trees blackened in the background and the grass throwing light off like fire. i suppose my eyes and ears are made of spirit and that's why i am so easily blinded.


  5. Gorgeous photos, Erin. We used to live on (in) Lake Bistineau and I loved to sit and watch the herons fish behind our house. They're such elegant creatures. Thank you for sharing your work. :-) Love to you and your holy camera. PS: I thought of this Mary Oliver poem while perusing your heron:

    Heron Rises From the Dark Summer Pond
    By Mary Oliver

    So heavy
    is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
    always it is a surprise
    when her smoke-colored wings

    and she turns
    from the thick water,
    from the black sticks

    of the summer pond,
    and slowly
    rises into the air
    and is gone.

    Then, not for the first or the last time,
    I take the deep breath
    of happiness, and I think
    how unlikely it is

    that death is a hole in the ground,
    how improbable
    that ascension is not possible,
    though everything seems so inert, so nailed

    back into itself--
    the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
    the turtle,
    the fallen gate.

    And especially it is wonderful
    that the summers are long
    and the ponds so dark and so many,
    and therefore it isn't a miracle

    but the common thing,
    this decision,
    this trailing of the long legs in the water,
    this opening up of the heavy body

    into a new life: see how the sudden
    gray-blue sheets of her wings
    strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
    takes her in.

  6. marion))) yes!!! and thank you! yes:) exactly this, "how unlikely it is..,how improbable/that ascension is not possible,"

    marion, you might understand this more than anyone. last night i was working on some photographs of sandhill cranes. how this poem applies to my experience of seeing them that first time this spring with my camera in hand. i crossed a field to get to them and then ran after them as they rose to get their distance from me. and then again i experienced this poem last night as i touched the photos. (i experienced what was inside this poem even though i was not aware of this poem. i had posted your comment without reading it through yet.) i was in a great deal of pain with my back. i couldn't escape it. but as i laid in bed afterwards with no way of moving from it i thought of them and i knew that that which in them rose could rise in me. it was as though in this knowledge something soft was brushing my eyelids, assuring me of tomorrow.

    and now today i read the poem you bring.

    today i am at the edge of the pain. it is all around me as though i am a two dimensional disk and it could step onto the plane of me so easily. and yet i too might rise again like the heron or the sandhill crane. finally we all will and leave our heavy bodies like the muskrat leaving his lumpy lodge:)


  7. Yes, Erin, we will rise, one day. I'm so sorry you're in pain. I understand that all too well. Reading often takes me outside my pain as does mindlessly watching TV. I love Netflix and movies about poets. :-) Keep on trucking, girlfriend, one minute at a time. Love you!! xoxo


"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))