Thursday, 31 May 2012

The whole hill ahead

On a recent bike ride in Umstead Park with Danny, I was in the lowest gear pedaling up a slow sloping hill.  I could see the whole thing ahead and my thighs weren’t happy.  But I kept breathing and staring long at ferns in their natural habitat, glad to be surrounded by depth & quiet.

Then, a very winded jogger passed us.  Danny and I looked at each other, pushed the pedals around again.  A regular attendee of spinning class, Danny could’ve powered past me, the jogger, and the ladies on their horses a mile ahead, but he chose to support my haggard attempts at determination.  A good man will forget his bigger muscles and go slow.

I got to thinking about the visibility of struggle—how often we don’t see the hard road laid out before us, in advance.  People read their horoscopes, pay strangers to read lines in their palm so they can have a shallow grasp on the illusory future.  In some sick way, we want to plan our worrying schedule.

But, why (pray tell) did my lungs hold tight to stale air when I saw the hill I had to climb?  Why did I want to get off the bike and sit on a patch of moss? 

This moment made me remember the wornout adage: to live in the present.  Let life feed you one piece of rope at a time.  Climb it.  Then look out the window at a new view.  The tree reaches over the road towards a leaning back pine.  See it as peacemaking— the way we get stronger.  

xx Corrie Lynn

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Stopping to See

This past weekend, I looked from Wiseman’s View into Linville Gorge.  I was high enough that I could see the cloud’s shadows coloring the tops of some trees, leaving others bright against the open sun.  It was God’s collection of green—and my standing stupor that even clouds have shadows.  Chinua Achebe said “If you want to see it well, you must not stand in one place.”  There was the river and the divide in the trees where cars must’ve been braking down hills, their passengers turning down the music, stopping to see.  I could follow the path with my finger up whole mountains. 

This morning, a stack of paper has spread itself across the kitchen table—poems I’ve written over the last nine months in need of revision, while dogs beckon back doors to be opened, bowls to be refilled.  All those commas.  I pick up a poem and suddenly remember writing it—the weather, the soft bed where I sat.  How often are we in a position to make our pasts more beautiful? 

Danny brings me a salad.  Danny is my lovely man whose eyes shine when talking about the perfection of eggs, the necessity of oranges in the morning.  We push papers over for lunch and look out the windows, into the bowl where walnuts, red peppers, bean sprouts glisten in vinegar and oil, cinnamon and mustard.  So much goes into beauty: the collision of tectonic plates, the grief of not knowing the future, the bleeding finger under running water.  

Some of Danny's handiwork.  

xoxo Corrie Lynn