When Life Is Good, But Still…

She gazed at the mad soup of bright twinkling stars in the northern Michigan sky. It was so beautiful, she had to put down the thoughts as if they were a hammer she’d been lugging through her days and just stare at the gorgeous night sky.

It’s like that Up North. For all the madness it takes to pack up a family of six and drive five hours to the north, it is so worth the effort. The breathability, the serenity, the sheer poetry of the lack of noise, the abundance of beauty and the wildlife that far out-populates the human traffic.

In a bookstore down the stairs from the streetfront, she found a book by a grad school classmate, who was now teaching poetry in the north.

It was only one of ten poetry books in the whole store. I guess poetry is appreciated in the landscape up here, so it doesn’t need to be written down, she thought.

But it made her sad.

If people would focus on the poetry – the still moments, the way her children sweetly stumbled to her in half-awake, leaning in for the hug, for example, or the unexpected treasure in a 1967 letter from her aunt at camp, about the riots in Detroit, worried about whether a theater would burn…

If people would focus on the poetry, she thought, there could be no strife in the world. No acrimony. No fear, no perceived threat, no loneliness.

She knew people who functioned strictly from a place of malcontent and when she saw them coming, she switched to the other side of the road.

Poetry, yoga, it’s all about trying to see the individual moments. One breath after another. One smile from a person loved. One tear down a soft, satiny cheek. The sweet ache of lovemaking after a long week apart.

The personalities hardly matter.

It’s the stuff of flesh and blood, determining what is real from what is perceived. Perception fucks everything up. Reality is pretty damn good to live in.


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