Thursday, April 2, 2015

Words and the excitingness of pure being

Gertrude Stein says that the “excitingness of pure being” has withdrawn from words when they’re worn out. Maybe a poet's work is to use language in ways that revitalize it so that we can learn to see and hear again.
Fresh seeing: views from Cliffhanger

Last night I picked up takeout for dinner. The owner’s 4-year-old waited with me and spoke in the simple, direct language of children: My sister hurt her chin. Do you have a daddy? What’s your daddy's name? My dog sounds like this...ruff ruff. I didn’t know where her language would take us, but I wanted to go there. It was fresh to be with her in this way. I needed to lean in to follow the flow of words that were so clearly an expression of what was arising between us on-the-spot. There was nothing extra. Everything mattered. 

Thank you, child-poet whose name I do not know, for speaking the language of pure being.

Fragment at the Beginning of Something, by David Watts

My son brings me a stone and asks
which star it fell from. He is serious
and so I must be careful,
even though I know he will place it
among those things
that will leave him someday
and he will go on, gathering.
For this is one of those moments
that turns suddenly
toward you, opening as it turns,
as if for an instant we paused
on the edge of a heartbeat
and then pressed forward, conscious
of the fear that runs beside us
and how lovely it is to be with each other
in the long, resilient mornings.