April is Poetry Month

It’s poetry month and I’m reading ways to celebrate.  One way is to choose a poem and read it outdoors.  I think of what the trees and birds might want to hear today and come to balancing on weaving waves of silence.  I listen to the leaves unfold as the birds draw them outwards with their notes.  

The notes I handle no better than many pianists.  But the pauses between the notes — ah, that is where the art resides.

 – Artur Schnabel 

The only thing we have to bring to community is ourselves, so the contemplative process of recovering our true selves in solitude is never selfish. It is ultimately the best gift we can give to others.

– Parker Palmer 

It’s spring and flowers sing!!

Quivering

Sometimes I think, oh, enough words, as I did this morning, and then I’m invited to peruse my bookshelves and one book calls, and I pull forth Mark Nepo’s Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred, and settle my feet on the floor, my bottom in a chair.  What’s here now?

I manage to read a few words and pause with these of Stanley Kunitz: The Universe is a continuous web.  Touch it at any point and the whole web quivers.

But then my cat Bella feels I’m clearly not doing anything important and should be petting and kissing her.  She is a Calico and when I chose her and her brother almost 14 years ago from a cage at the Humane Society, I was told she would never be affectionate.  That is not so. She demands attention, is insistent, and will not be ignored, so I lift her into the chair next to me, and pet and kiss, and notice especially her ears since I was hoping to read a book on listening.  I place my lips on her ears and wiggle them back and forth with a kiss. She licks my hands and face.

“The whole web quivers.”  

And since a quiver is also a case for holding arrows, I see how the heart is a target aimed and struck.