Another autumn has arrived, and I have scarcely noticed. I did not note its arrival for my Friday classes and I am remiss. Like Olga Rasmussen, to whom I have turned this morning for inspiration, I have been so caught up with teaching and connecting with friends. Yet the season insists, and will not be denied. A spray–painted sheaf of plywood on the road near my home declares “OUR OWN APPELS. .50¢ lb.” Squash fills the crates at the farm stand. On the drive to the latest installment of a workshop series yesterday, I noticed the tops of trees beginning to blush.
The Buddhist ordered his boy to bring him, New Year’s
morning, a message. He
tore open the message
he himself had written, and signed, “Buddha.”
“Busyness has caught you, you have slowed and stopped.
If you start toward me, I
will surely come
to meet you.” He wept.
Exhausted by work and travel, I walk.
Robert Bly, “The Grief of Men” via The BlueIris Semi-Nightly Poetry Break, 2/3/09 – Democratic Underground.
Last week my congregation gained an appreciation of the Jewish High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and I am aware that the Celts chose mid-Autumn to celebrate the new year, so the Buddhist’s message is not far off. What is most salient for me in Rasmussen’s post, however, may be this poem by Rilke, which I am sure I read this summer.
O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.
Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness
into the heavy wine.
He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so
for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read,
write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park
among the blown leaves.
~ Ranier Maria Rilke
Especially if your life has been busy like mine, take some time to “stay awake, read, write long letters and restlessly walk in the park among the blown leaves.”