On mystery and writing

My mentor made a comment to me over lunch during the residency, nicely sandwiched in between bites of strawberries doused by whipping cream. She has this way about her that penetrates and asks the questions around which others might lollygag. But not her. Its importance is not attached to being said between bites. I sat back, mouth open and really let the words come in. Let her speak into me and know the task at hand is not insurmountable, but might take the rest of my life.

Tonight, as I was meditating, I read the words of Jesus who taught in parables, spoke in riddles. He knows His audience and through his explanation of why he uses riddles, he asserts that they will get them. Kind of like gnosis that’s open to anyone who wants to understand. They can have ears to hear.

My poetry leaves a lot unsaid and I like the inherent mystery of it. Life is brimming to the rim with mystery and so it goes that I think if someone really wants to understand a poem, they will sit with it, spending the time delving into its depths. That to me is where its power resides- in the depths.

A friend living in East Asia is helping start an Italian restaurant and commissioned a poem for its wall. I took inspiration from the sunniness of Italy, the importance of family and good food. Olga will be translating it into Italian and then we will email it back to them. They will be painting my poem on a restaurant wall in East Asia, which will be kind of fun for all involved. I am picturing people trying to read the foreign words in their equally foreign-to-my-ears tongue. Bowls of spaghetti being passed underneath my words, like a painted benediction peppering their meals.

Life’s nuances give it tang and pucker. The mystery fills in with maltiness, body.

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