Saturday, December 27, 2008

The god of small things

The god of small things

My heart is glad. I awake in a room bathed in luxurious glow. How unhurried the day. Sauvi is curled into herself like a sweet roll, shielding her eyes from the morning light with her paws. Chris, an early riser, is crunching on shredded oats absently poking through the paper. Emma smells like sweet clover, held in the embrace of sleep.

In another part of the world it is twilight.


Is not a time for sleeping

Or figuring things out

It is a time to rest the eyes

Waiting for the dark to come.

I am custodian of memories it is not yet time to release. Bitter embers still hold fire. I am lucky. Blessed with the capacity to navigate paradox, dwell in ambiguity. Like taking the number 1 line and shuttling to Grand Central. It only takes one fare.

We started on the braise, sautéing the aromatics over medium heat. Visited Cecilia who was already nervous and excited about coming over for supper. We decided there would be no store bought gifts this year except for Emma. When pressed, she had produced a short list: #1 gift cards (10). Thankfully, it was 10 as in priority, not magnitude!!! #2 ceramic hair curler. She had asked for a typewriter earlier. She is happy with so little.

After quietly unwrapping her presents, Emma Camille disappeared into her room. With characteristic understatement, she handed me a book of hand bound poems so beautiful it cracked my heart wide open. I poured through these gems of longing and gratitude, passion and remembrance with a sense of wonder and humility. Emma is daughter to me. Our bond circumvents the conventions of biology. We share many things and ultimately, we have the same story. She is one of those radiant souls, wise beyond her 12 revolutions on this jiggery blue planet.

Fortuitously, I stumbled across a manual Smith Corona at a garage sale, preserved in its burnished shell like a walnut. Emma is at this moment entranced, stroking new stories into being. The sound of the keys speak hope.

With the author’s permission, I offer this poem to you.


Snowy mountains towering over the trees

seem so close, but yet so far away

A still breeze blows,

moving snow across the ground.

All you hear is silence,

except for the sound of your footsteps

crunching on the white

leaving prints behind.

All seems empty

no one’s here

but at the same time

it’s beautiful.

The air smells of pine

the birds sing their songs,

deer run freely,

the mountains full of mystery

this is their home.

Expect nothing

appreciate everything

girl of the meadows

Emmalina Zhong

crested red flame

waxing so long.

Wishing for you deep peace, tender times, infinite blessings.


the joyful apprentice.


Dr.John said...

Before computers and computer printers I had a typewriter just like thst one.
Tell her the poem ewas great.

Dianne said...

the poem is lovely, happy and hopeful with a sweet touch of soul

please tell her that for me

and ... I adore the sound of typing. The sound of words! :)


the walking man said...

Gabrielle, there is a peace imparted through these words of yours, one enhanced by the poets words.

Maithri said...

It is twilight here...the final rays of light fading as the warm arms of darkness embrace the world...

Reading your love kissed words and the words of this great young poetess....

I am Taken deeper into the stillness
of this night

To sit awhile with
the mystery
of all of this

The wild ocean of love
waving us all into being

The heart of the universe
through the voices of young and old, black and white, wounded and whole...

Words of love...

That flow out like painted angels into the wild night,

hitch themselves to a star

and shine love to kindred souls across the waters....

across the waves...

What a miracle it all is...

What a miracle you are...

I bow my head in thanks to the God of small things,

For your beautiful words,

And for the wild grace which i will never understand,


Raven said...

The poem is beautiful. I'm sure that living with a poet like yourself is a great inspiration for her... as she is for you. So much love in this post... and so much beauty.

Best wishes for a joyful New Year.

magnetbabe said...

Sounds like a lovely Christmas. I wish I could have been there to enjoy it with you and Dad and Emma. She has always had a way with words and is developing into a wonderful poet.

the walking man said...

Be well friend and when the snow melts may it's bounty come forth in the garden of your being.

Minnesotablue said...

A beautiful post

gabrielle said...

Dr. John - I will tell Emma you enjoyed her poem. Thank you. I too had a typewriter like this one. We had good times together. Did you know that Studs Terkel wrote all of his oral history on a manual typewriter? I remember him bewailing the fact that he could not find anyone to fix a broken key.

Dianne - Thank you, Dianne. I will let her know. The poem is an outward manifestation of Emma’s beauty . It reflects the way she sees the world in all its goodness.
And yes, the palpable sound of words. Lucky me! She seems to prefer her typewriter to the PC for now.

the walking man - Thank you. I am honored that you were able to grasp the peace that enveloped us this day.

Maithri - Words of love...
That flow out like painted angels into the wild night

Loving Emma is easy.

She has endured such brittle loss in her short years, yet like a tender sapling, she bends as the winds blow through her. She has a joyous spirit and a zest for life that springfrom a remote alpine source. Quite a teacher, my daughter.

Across the waters,
sending fragrant breezes to you.
Thank you for your sweet song, dear friend.

Raven, - Thank you. I am humbled by your words. It is the beauty in your heart filled posts that has inspired me to start writing again. Emma will be happy to hear that a kindred poet enjoyed her work.

MB- We missed you too. Hope that you were held in the warm embrace of quiet times with Dean and the kitties. Til we enjoy long simmered meals together again.

Walking man – How lovely.Thank you. I am dewey eyed.
My wish for you: the still slumber of new snow, the buoyant flight of the falcon, the dreamless landscape of the eternal.

Minnesotablue – Thank you. May the new year be filled with gentle wonder.