There are a million wonders along the path, many of them missed if you’re traveling too fast. You have to slow down to catch life in close up. Our culture resists this vigorously, of course. So I choose to live differently than most. I suppose this difference has been highlighted this week while I’ve been filling out government tax forms, listening to party politics and preparing to step back into the 19th century for my new job at Old World Wisconsin. I am not trying to move “up and to the right” like the business graph. I want to follow a different trajectory.
This morning I’ve been reading some blogs written by women who are caring for their aging mothers through stages of dementia. My father died two years ago from Alzheimer’s, but I was not a care-giver in his life because I live halfway across the country. I was a care-giver to my husband who died 4 years ago from coronary artery disease, kidney failure and diabetes. The perspective of life across different physical, mental and psychological ages intrigues me, and provides the inspiration for today’s poetry and photos. The photos are again from our trip to Wyalusing State Park. The first one was something Steve noticed as we walked. “Look,” he said, “little teenaged Priscillas!” He was looking into a stream where some water striders were sheltering between the rocks. My mother used to refer to me as a water strider when I was in high school. The poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo was to write a sonnet, 14 lines because today’s the 14th. I did not attempt to compose anything with a more formal frame than that. No iambic pentameter or rhyming scheme, just 14 lines. So, here we go with the pictures and poetry!
Skimming the surface, supported by tension
Riding the tide of everyone’s angst
A mere shadow in the depths, a dimple of contrast
Slender legs splayed out, weightless, of no consequence
A teenaged water strider, this youngest daughter.
What rock will plunge her universe,
Reverse the level of her lens and fasten her,
Securely, where the current flows and tugs?
In the wet of things, completely drenched
Attending top and bottom feeders, gasping, flailing,
Always moving, face in the water with wide opened eyes
Until another metamorphosis, an aged knife,
Severs the lines and sets her adrift
Above the ripples once again, that much closer to the sky.