Archive for July 19th, 2008

poka dot, painting by Em made in Paint, © 2008 by Em. All rights reserved.

There is no such thing as coincidence.

My blog partner, QuoinMonkey, took off last Wednesday to Pennsylvania, one of the places she calls home. The trip was, in large part, to conduct on-going research for her memoir.

It turns out, though, that her brother J. had just gone into Intensive Care with an as-yet undiagnosed illness. He has been on a respirator in ICU since her arrival and is expected to stay there until the middle of next week.

Yesterday we ran a post by guest Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager, with monotype prints by her husband Paul. QM got much strength from that story.

One of the things that struck me from Laura’s story, both in the words and the imagery, was the idea that out of chaos comes goodness. Starting with Hope. In fact, Paul’s first piece was titled Swimming with Chaos, and his second piece Hope.

And so the image for this post, QM, is one that my youngest daughter had created. When I saw it, as I was searching for an image to use in this post, it reminded me of Laura and Paul’s story. It also made me think of you and your family, swimming in chaos right now, but holding on to one another, with hope and love.

QM, this poem is for you and your family: diddy, MOM, R3, all the others who come in and out of red Ravine. And especially for J.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Where Does the Temple Begin,
Where Does It End?

There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.

The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.

And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.

The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
    from the unreachable top of the tree.

I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
    as though with your arms open.

And thinking: maybe something will come, some
    shining coil of wind,
    or a few leaves from any old tree–
        they are all in this too.

And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world

At least, closer.

And, cordially.

Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold
fluttering around the corner of the sky

of God, the blue air.

     -by Mary Oliver, in Why I Wake Early

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