Transcendent transience is what beloved musician, artist, and poet Patti Smith explores in My Train- a most unusual and breathtaking book: part memoir, part dreamscape, part elegy for the departed and for time itself.The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there. I considered what it meant to be sixty-six. The same number as the original American highway, the celebrated Mother Road that George Maharis, as Buz Murdock, took as he tooled across the country in his Corvette, working on oil rigs and trawlers, breaking hearts and freeing junkies. Sixty-six, I thought, what the hell. I could feel my chronology mounting, snow approaching. I could feel the moon, but I could not see it. The sky was veiled with a heavy mist illuminated by the perpetual city lights. When I was a girl the night sky was a great map of constellations, a cornucopia spilling the crystalline dust of the Milky Way across its ebony expanse, layers of stars that I would deftly unfold in my mind. I noticed the threads on my dungarees straining across my protruding knees. I’m still the same person, I thought, with all my flaws intact, same old bony knees. The phone was ringing, a birthday wish from an old friend reaching from far away. As I said good-bye I realized I missed that particular version of me, the one who was feverish, impious. She has flown, that’s for sure. ~brainpickings.org
how does the rose open slowly and steadily without eyes to see it….suddenly we blossom in the midst of all the muck…..remember that when the days are dark…….
A white rose opens in a quiet arbour
Where I sit reading Dante, Paradise
unfolding in me, opens hour by hour,
In sunlight and amidst the hum of bees
On a late afternoon. I think of how
Everything flowers, the whole universe
Itself is still unfolding even now,
Sprung from a stem of singularity
Which petals time and space. I think of how
The very elements that let my body be
Began and will continue in the stars
Whose light and distance frame our mystery,
And how my shadowed heart still loves, still bears
With every beat that animates my being,
Eternal yearnings through the turning years.
I turn back to the lines that light my seeing
And lift me to the limits of all thought
And long that I might also find that freeing
And enabling Love, and so be caught
And lifted into His renewing Heaven.
Evening glimmers and the stars come out.
Venus is shining clear. My prayers are woven
Into a sounding song, a symphony,
As all creation gives back what is given
In music made to praise the Mystery
Who is both gift and giver. Something stirs
A grace in me beyond my memory.
I close the book and look up at the stars.
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time;
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset.
~Last words of Crowfoot, Blackfoot hunter