Saturday, October 04, 2008

something too important to forget

A friend sent me a book of poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reading the poem he suggested, "The Art of Disappearing," I am thankful that he knows me so well. It resonated deeply, made me both want to sit in silence and to send out a hallelujah cry, that in my head sounds something like ululating, and might scare the children.

"You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
...
Know you could tumble any second
Then decide what to do with your time."

As I'm repainting my room, cleaning and purging all unnecessary clutter, I want to purge all that is unnecessary in my life. To be deliberate. It feels like preparation. I'm not sure what is coming next, but I want to be ready, not weighed down by stuff, either physical or psychic.

"The Art of Disappearing"

When they say Don't I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say Why?

It's not that you don't love them anymore.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

~Naomi Shihab Nye

1 comment:

paul thomas said...

That is a fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing.