In a field, I am the absence of field. This is always the case. Wherever I am, I am what is missing. When I walk I part the air and always the air moves in to fill the spaces where my body’s been. We all have reasons for moving. I move to keep things whole.
Yesterday, in between variegated spring weather, I took a drive through the undulating fields of April’s unpretentious, spring farmland, passing ancient towers and hilltop villages. I never seem to tire of the beautiful Gers landscape in southwestern France.
Colza, or rapeseed as it is known elsewhere, is one of the oldest vegetable oil producing plants, a cross between the mustard and cabbage plant. It was first mentioned in old Sanskrit texts dating from 2,000 B.C. and it’s yellow brilliance covers 1.5 million hectares in France during the spring.
Despair with the world had been gnawing away at me for some time and I needed to be surrounded by the poetry of nature and the beauty of words. I took my camera and my journal, in which I’ve copied poems that have touched me, to move and be moved, to be healed and cleansed, to keep myself whole.
…How close does the dragon’s spume have to come? How wide does the crack in heaven have to split? What would people look like if we could see them as they are, soaked in honey, stung and swollen, pinned against time?
Holy these woods reclaiming the earth, rich in detritus becoming soil. Holy, the garden, its river of stones, its moss, lilies and maples. Should trees have standing? Is the Katsura aroused by the arousal of its new leaves? Its blood surges. Let the tones tell it. Let the river sing it again. Listen closely to the silence. Listen to a language not our own.
There are poems that are never written, that simply move across the mind like skywriting on a still day: slowly the first words drifts west, the last letters dissolve on the tongue, and what is left is the pure blue of insight, without cloud or comfort.
*In honor of National Poetry Month in the United States.