Art thou pale for weariness of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, wandering companionless among the stars that have a different birth, and ever changing, like a joyless eye that finds no object worth it's constancy? Thou chosen sister of the Spirit, that gazes on thee til in thee it pities. . . -Shelley (To The Moon)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Flowers of Saint Francis (Inspired by Rossellini)

Beauty is rich in the realm of our senses, today. I left my house to walk two blocks to a coffee shop downtown because my attempt to reheat an old coffee on the stove was unsuccessful (it just tasted burnt). When the weather is cold, sometimes my neighbourhood streets are populated by a number of homeless people because there are four churches on my street (aptly named Church Street) sheltering them at night. I am often emotionally overwhelmed to see them. Today, though, three women were about to pass me as one greeted me with a boisterous and friendly, "hello there!" My reaction was immediate; I responded with hello and my best smile. Her greeting gave me strength and security. It made me feel like my presence as a home-leaser was not resented and like this neighbourhood is alive, not dying. These moments are "flowers" in my garden of time.
e above painting is by El Greco. I hope your path of flowers leads you to return.

The Flowers Of Saint Francis (Inspired by Rossellini's film of the same name)

I am a follower, a flower
in the merciful sun.
I was told by fire of miracles
won by faith and ardent,
desired suffering.

Miracles are each vignettes
extolling the whole, real miracle
revolving constantly through turquoise
in impermanent jade waves:
(Paradox ~ Memory ~ Truth's Parasol)~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If it happened once ---------- love -----------

does it exist forever,
if only witnessed internally,

experienced as nostalgia?

my memory of a perfect rose
into which I peered
is peaceful ~~~~~~~~~~~~ just as
peering in the first place
provoked such peace primarily

My heart is not my own
but a part of all I follow,
a flower in the merciful light.


  1. I like this post very much and it foreshadows your latest "The best answer" in its meditation on what happens to beautiful things when their factual existence disappears into the past without being recorded. Does memory keep them preserved? Do they have some eternal existence?

    A very pregnant set of questions, for the apotheosis of the rose is to be peered into by you. That is its great moment. Your partner's guitar playing, though: is its great moment to be heard by him (and compared in its imperfection with his intention) or to be heard less critically by you through the floor?

    For when we speak of something perfect, we speak of the personal experience and not the thing itself. And then there is the miracle of recording, as in writing a poem or a blog post, to capture the moment, and remind ourselves of when a homeless woman said "hello there!" on the street - a moment which perhaps meant a great deal to both, or only to one.

  2. What a wonderful way to look at this! Thank you for tying it all together in a way that makes me look very sane!
    In the same way that memory can preserve the past - the past keeps memory functioning. Neither or them can exist without the other.