The things that move me are inevitably the moments when suffering and beauty meet--the dual wings of agony and ecstasy. One without the other and we get nowhere.
Emily recommend Ellen Bass' poetry to me. Her collection "Like a Beggar" came in the mail today, and I'm smitten. Here's some lines from her poem "Relax." Drink them up.
The Buddha tells astory of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs halfway down. But there's also a tiger below.
And two mice--one white, one black--scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
The she eats the strawberry.
So here's the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you'll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles in a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You'll be lonely.
Oh, taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.