Sunday, February 11, 2018

Our every day life is what will save us

"Adams raises the questions, “Is art a sufficient consolation for life? Can Beauty make suffering tolerable?” His answer, while not an all-out endorsement for art, is real, and tangible. He says: “The fact is, I think that they are only partly sufficient. If we are not too burdened by disappointment or loneliness or pain, there are certainly times when art can help; there are moments when great pictures can heal. Views by Masaccio and Rembrandt and Cezanne and Stieglitz, among others, have all been important to me in this way.”

He goes on to say:

“Sometimes it has been enough to search out a cafe blessed with a jukebox, rattling dishes, and human voices. Family and friends are better though. What a relief there is in an anecdote, a jumping dog, or the brush of a hand. All of these things are disorderly, but no plan for survival stands a chance without them.”

Our every day life is what will save us, perhaps, in the end. The beauty of that, whether it's captured in a photograph, or in a poem, or paragraph."

Shawna Lemay

Saturday, February 10, 2018

It just opens a door, quietly

A Poem Never Says Anything
Uttaran Chaudhuri

translated from Bengali by the poet

A poem never says anything.
It just opens a door, quietly.

Sleepless and bent
just like my aged father
waiting for me in a lonely winter night.

Reaching for each other

That Winter Evening
for Billy Miller

When the man pulled my father
from the icy waters of Lake Michigan,
he did not know years later my step-daughter
would need someone to buy her a sweater
so she would feel nurtured, did not know

that my son would need someone
to make a mosaic with him so that he
could feel loved, did not know
that my daughter would need
someone to tell her that she
was beautiful. When the man

pulled my father from the water
when he fell in while fishing alone,
that man couldn’t know that
years later this daughter
would sit beside her father and hold his hand
and weep at the simple gift
of being able to hold his hand.

The man was doing what he knew to do—
to rush to the person in need of help.
He didn’t think then of the other lives
blessed by the man. Did not think
of the other lives blessed by his hands
when he chose to try, though the odds
were low. He knew only to reach.

Years later, my mother still sleeps
beside the man that was pulled
from the winter lake.

Give us hands that know to reach
for each other—stranger, neighbor,
friend. Give us hands that unthinkingly
choose to save the family
we’ve never met.

Rosemerry Trommer

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