Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Snow

I woke up today to this view - yes, a dusting of snow to go along with the cold.

My boyfriend and I "broke up" on election eve - unexpected, but the signs were there. Time has been passing slowly and swiftly for me, processing, grieving, and now rebuilding. Times of silence, finally talking it out, feeling the pain out, reading, writing. When we talked a few days later, he told me of the poem of mine that said his feelings, the one I wrote a long time ago and almost forgot about. Can we still be friends? Yes. But things will never be the same between us and my life is now moving on, changing seasons with the first snow.

When I teach one of my writing classes, I reference a poem from Yuko Taniguchi, a Minnesota poet, from her book "Foreign Wife Elegy." I won't list that one here, but reading her book again I discovered this one, that is appropriate for now.


"But trust the hours. Haven't they

carried you everywhere, up to now?"

-- Galway Kinnell


I practice piano and repeat scales one hundred

times every day because what we do today

becomes tomorrow's harvest; practice makes perfect.

Bach's prelude drops layers of voice all at once.

Over and over, I practice until I realize that the sound

full of sorrow demands a complete

separation from the pianist

full of sorrow.


Walking into the dark tunnel alone

at night frightens you, though you may

overcome this fear if you practice

this every day, or you may never

overcome it like the terrible emptiness

inside you; it does not make you stronger.


All the living that you did

suddenly seems like practice

for dying, but living is not supposed to be

a rehearsal for death. We are never ready

for departure, but the curtain is wide open

with lights shining on the stage. You are getting up

slowly. Soon you will walk away from us

as if to practice walking

for the first time.

Yuko Taniguchi

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