Day 208 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and I was not the only one reading before and between volleyball matches at the intercity tournament today, but 1) I might have been the only one reading poetry and 2) I was too far away to read titles.
I am still reading Like Happiness, by Michael Hettich, and today the poem "Awake Before Dawn" struck me for two main reasons.
1) I have also written a poem in "awake before dawn" mode, as have many poets, who, probably, are often awake before dawn.
2) It helped me. I love it when poems help me. Stanza two begins, "Another kind of man could turn into a tree," which is interesting in itself, and goes on, "and still be a man," which did not exclude me even though I am a woman and also made me empathize with the speaker who is, evidently, not this kind of man...but maybe wishes he was, so he could "take pleasure in the wind," something I did yesterday, "in the water that flows up into his body," and, whoa! he is turning into a tree!, "and out through his leaves like happiness" (the title of the book!), "refreshing/ that wind with its green life, that wind that travels everywhere," (and here tonight, writing, I recall that strange fact that we are breathing the same recirculating air of history, all over the world), "poking its nose into root-crotch and grotto" (ew!), "calling who's there, who's there into the emptiness / and moving off quickly, before anything replies."
And that was the part that helped me. I could be 1) more like the wind, by 2) "moving off quickly, before anything replies," and then 3) I wouldn't be troubled when nothing replies.
But once I was the wind. I had the visceral certainty of this, like memory. I remembered being the wind. Now that's a little freaky, and something I usually keep to myself, except for the poem I wrote about it, that I keep sending out. Nobody wants to know you were once one of the four elements. Sigh.... But once I met a perfectly sane, lovely, stable woman who knew it was time to pull back when she experienced being a river.
I'm sure there are reasons why I was the wind and she was the river. Mine had to do with fatigue and hunger, evidently pretty common among people who see visions, et cetera. But it was a wonderful feeling, amazing, pretty literally mind expanding.
And not at all like volleyball.