Friday, January 19, 2007

Poetry Friday

It's been too long since I participated in Poetry Friday. Today's selection comes from Robinson Jeffers and describes one of my favorite places.

Carmel Point
by Robinson Jeffers

The extraordinary patience of things!
This beautiful place defaced with a crop of surburban houses-
How beautiful when we first beheld it,
Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;
No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,
Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads-
Now the spoiler has come: does it care?
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine beauty
Lives in the very grain of the granite,
Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff.-As for us:
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.

Many many years ago I wrote an essay about my family's long and troubled relationship with faultlines, the literal kind that split the earth. I used the last couple lines in this poem to describe what I saw in my family as a fairly fatalistic view of what it means to live in quake country. But today I'm really liking "we must uncenter our minds from ourselves."

How do you uncenter your mind from yourself? I need desperately to know.

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