A friend posted this Mary Oliver poem this morning, and it reached into my core.
I know each and every one of you, my friends, roars a different story behind your dark, private waterfall. I wish, I pray for each of you that when the echoes fade, your healing and spirits are as swift and ebullient at the waterfall that receives your roar!
The Poet With (Her) Face In (Her) Hands
You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets
like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you
want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched
by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
The photo above is a close-up of a piece in my Icekanse series. I had not seen the face with the jagged crown and raised arm until Mark pointed it out. Is it crying the agony of the earth as it sinks? Or raising a song of defiance and deliverance? I have seen it both ways, lived it both ways. It is the cascade of desperation. It is the “perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.” But the cycle always ends in uprising, in rejuvenation.
I’ve been calling it “Singing the Roots.” Perhaps its true name is “Roar.”
An exciting aside: this piece will be a part of my first solo show next month!