That summer lying in the long grass with my head propped up against the back of a saddle, with the zenith above me and the drop of distance below, I listened to the mountain silence until I could hear as far into it as the faintest clink of a cowbell. In the mountains, what might be out of sight had never really gone away. Like the mountain, that distant bell would always be there. It would keep reminding.
The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.
― Czeslaw Milosz
We must all work in harmony with each other to stand up for what is right, to speak up for what is fair, and to always voice any corrections so that the ignorant become informed and justice is never ignored. Every time a person allows an act of ignorance to happen, they delay our progress for true change. Every person, molecule and thing matters. We become responsible for the actions of others the instant we become conscious of what they are doing wrong and fail to remind them of what is right.
―Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. When you are in the sun, can you avoid creating a shadow? Can you shake that area of darkness that clings to you, always shaped like you, as if constantly to remind you of yourself? You can’t. This shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun. And who wouldn’t want to be in the sun?
―Yann Martel, Beatrice and Virgil
I want to write something that means something to someone…that reminds them of what a second, a moment, really is…or that assures them that we are just as lost as they are. I want to write an emotion they are too fragile to let loose, so that my words can do the expression for them, the feeling for them. I want to write beyond the basics and the cliches…I want to write you, I want to write a long walk on a starry night, I want to write an exhale or an inhale…or suffocation.
I want to write as clear as my voice could be heard…that is, if I had anything to say.
I don’t know when we’ll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.
―Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today’s poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury – one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously.
In the same way that the picturesque designers were always careful to include some reminder of our mortality in their gardens — a ruin, sometimes even a dead tree — the act of leaving parts of the garden untended, and calling attention to its margins, seems to undermine any pretense to perfect power or wisdom on the part of the gardener. The margins of our gardens can be tropes too, but figures of irony rather than transcendence — antidotes, in fact, to our hubris. It may be in the margins of our gardens that we can discover fresh ways to bring our aesthetics and our ethics about the land into some meaningful alignment.
Synkroniciti is ecstatic to present an original work created for our Open Mic last month by Ofelia Adame Williams. While sitting in her car between her day job and her night/weekend job as a chorister at Houston Grand Opera, she snapped this spectacular photo of rain drops collecting on her windshield. Isn’t it terrific how beauty surprises us? She then wrote a moving poem which connects this image with the profound stress of modern life.
I hope you are enchanted and encouraged by this thoughtful and beautiful combination of words and image. It is the mission of Synkronicitito provide a safe place where people can explore their creativity. You are always welcome to our community of sharing.
Let’s contemplate some diamonds together!
by Ofelia Adame Williams
Above their covered eyes the sky is shimmering with fairy dust,
breaking through the fog on the silver wings of dragonflies,
glittering as they capture every precious bit of light that has escaped the gray.
These diamonds are forming, not from the pressure of rock and coal,
But the pressures of the life around them,
Anxious and constricting like the breath of those cowering below them.
Oh but the diamonds, they sparkle and shine and form into tears,
Tears falling from the clouds that reflect those emotions,
Responding to the world. Then…release
With flashes of magic they dive to the earth,
Eagerly seeking to soothe her children,
to quench their thirst for beauty.
But alas, they’re ignored…they’re shunned.
The masses hide from the twinkle of stardust that each diamond possesses,
Hurrying to find shelter from the light.
Except a few that dare to gaze up,
The ones that see the pixie’s trail out the corner of their eyes.
Quickly turning to catch the sight, but just out of it.
And those that turn are treated with a spell.
They see the light that even the gloom cannot swallow.
There is no sun yet there is this glow!
“Ahh, but there is a sun, the darkness wants to hide it
Much like you hide from our presence.”
-Exclaim the dripping gems.
“See how we sparkle despite the gloom,
The sun lives in us
And we bring a bit of her to remind you she’s still there.”
How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.