Today Davey and I were climbing a tree.  Davey was far up in the bendy branches and I was just perched on the lowest one, swinging my legs in the autumn air. I looked up and said, "Davey you're good at climbing trees."  He said thank you.  I said, "Davey, are you scared?"  and I heard him say from above me as I looked up at the bottoms of his shoes, "I'm always scared on the way down."  

I don't know why I should think of those lines now, ten hours later, or why i thought about it on the car ride home from Spring City, or while we were eating birthday brownies for Zina.   

I've also been thinking a lot about poetry, and experience.  I went to a symposium and heard 5 brilliant professors speak about their desire to dictate intangible, ungraspable human experience through words.  The point being, we never can, they never can.  That is, we never can properly offer up a worthy explanation of what we feel and understand.  Poetry is an attempt at reconciliation of the absolute grandness that brushes our fingertips from time to time,  words are often the means we have been provided on this earth, and so we take them.  Though the inadequacy may drive us crazy. 

Every so often,  and it does not come about easily, in one sitting, or even forty, we create a line, an image, a thought that stops us, reminds us there is something more, a God.  To me, that brief and inexplicable revelation of understanding is like the moment lightning flashes,  you know you've seen it, it was beautiful, and for a split second, it revealed the whole valley to you. Fell upon you and blessed you in the dark and in the rain.  

I suppose perhaps that is why I cried last night while reading Persimmons by Li-young Lee to Leland last night.  I've read it so many times,  but the image of his father sitting and blind on the basement stairs, the last line,  the ripe weight, is a gift to me when I read it.  

I wish I had a proper explanation for my humanness, I wish I could sit down with you and tell you what it's like, all of it.  But then again, part of me doesn't wish to tell you at all, part of me only wishes to experience with you the first star of the night.  We could stand next to one another and see it high in the orange sky, above the mountain line, below the falling blue, the crickets would be singing,  but us, we would not talk at all.  How could we ever explain anything, even less, beauty.  In the air between us, maybe God would tell us something, like how we don't need to be afraid,  even when we are falling.


shelly said...


ZLB said...

love you ashmae. thanks for coming and sharing your love. xoxo.

K8 said...


diana palmer said...

aye aye.

he is one of my favorites.

david. said...

that was a great climb and i have the small little nicks and scrapes on my fingers to show for it.
love you, ash.

The Christensen Family said...

that was awesome.

thats all.

julianne rose said...

love your blog ashmae, i read it every so often and it makes me feel warm.

loved this post, and it reminded me of one of my favourite quotes, from the 2nd volume of simone de beauvoir's autobiography:

‘beauty is no more amenable to words than happiness. if i say ‘i saw the acropolis’ or ‘i went to the museum and saw the statues,’ either i have to leave it at that or write a whole extra book on the subject.’

she just says it so plainly and bluntly. and it's so vividly true.