Saturday, January 30, 2010

in these quiet years

without
the fortune
of all that i know as
'my life'

i might not have seen
the subtle stroke
of a wildgrass paintbrush
on its canvas of new snow


in these quiet years growing calmer,
lacking knowledge of the world’s affairs,
i stop worrying how things will turn out.
my quiet mind makes no subtle plans.
returning to the woods i love
a pine-tree breeze rustles in my robes.

44 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

steven, that poem by wang wei is sublime. Could you please tell me what collection/translation you're using? His poetry really speaks to me across the centuries, as if he were sitting here, my best friend, by the hearth.

Alaine said...

Steven, I love Wang Wei's thoughts and how fortunate to find the wildgrass paintbrush pic! Is that an arrangement of yours or did you luck upon it?

Your header pic is wonderful!

Delwyn said...

You might have seen the painting!

This poem is just wonderful. I needed a jolt to kick me off the treadmill of thoughts.
Thanks Steven

happy days

Lydia said...

Beautiful. I have a feeling that wang wei would appreciate the accompanying photo...and your blog header, most definitely.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

I like the stillness of this photo. And "growing calmer" is a valuable gift. Thank you for this quote. Peace.

Kathleen said...

It's absolutely astonishing what is scribed in the snow, isn't it. I recently found saw bent reeds that I swear looked like a Calder sculpture. It's in my sidebar. The oddest moment of nature imitating art. I have to watch myself on those walks in the woods. The "sculptures" to my eyes are like "Turkish Delight" from the Ice Queen in Narnia...what time of day did you capture this beautiful image?

Titus said...

Beautiful clarity of image and thoughts, steven.

Elisabeth said...

That image of dried grass over snow is so delicate, Steven, for a minute I thought it was a pencil drawing.

What amazing powers of observation you have. Thanks.

Pauline said...

The new header is stunning! And thanks for the wang wei poem - I've copied it for my bulletin board AND my fridge where I can see and reflect on it often.

Barry said...

What a wonderful, simple and graceful image you've captured Steven.

And the poetry is almost as perfect as the image.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

perhaps you are the re-incarnation of wang wei, steven. I have difficulty distinguishing his words from yours.

Golden West said...

Another beautiful image to start the day - thanks, Steven!

steven said...

hi dan - it is such a gentle and clear unpacking of the experience of feeling age in a good way. the translation is linked through wang wei's name at the bottom of the posting. i love that his writing speaks with you as you read it. it's cool to think that so much time and space separates us and then again - absolutely nothing. steven

steven said...

hi alaine - those grasses are in a small clearing in a valley about two kilometres from here. the header pic is taken at the edge of a field about two hundred metres from here. i'm grateful for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

hello delwyn!!! it's probably strange for you to cruise through your north american friend's blogs and see snow and ice, while you're likely sweating buckets in the australian summertime! i wonder at all that i missed as i 've passed through life - not with regret but with curiousity. i see my own son discounting so much that i now value and i know i was exactly the same at his age. i like what i am able to see and especially i like that i can let go of so much. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

lydia - wouldn't it be amazing to be able to plant yourself next to someone long gone and share experiences. share the very small things that suddenyl fill you. hmmmmm. thanks for that cool thought. steven

steven said...

hi richard - i used to measure myself by my "loudness" the noise of my presence was a measure of my intensity, my excitement, my commitment, my creativity. i know myself differently now. thanks for your thoughtful comment. steven

steven said...

hi kathleen - this picture was taken mid-afternoon on a cloudy day. snow had already fallen and stopped. there were animal tracks everywhere. the air was still. the spot i saw this is a small marshy area in the summertime. a few feet from this scene there are clumps of grasses still standing. thanks for dropping by. steven

steven said...

thanks titus - clarity of thought comes and goes for me to be really honest! when i focus on these tiny moments it's much easier than with the larger pieces of my life. there's a critical mass beyond which i'm almost useless to be really inside what's unfolding. thanks for visiting. steven

steven said...

hello elisabeth - somewhere out there is a person with that sort of skill! i've never had the gift of being able to turn reality into drawing. perhaps richard (see above) could!! steven

steven said...

pauline thanks. i really like the header photograph myself! the field is really close to where i am right now and i worry that one day it'll be covered with streets and houses. that's beyond my control and possibly i won't be around to see it happen. so for now i visit it every so often and enjoy it for what it is. have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hello barry and thankyou. simplicity - it's funny that as a younger man i knew about that idea but not how to encourage it and certainly not how to share it. i'm glad to be at this point. thanks for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

hello bonnie - i've been wondering about direct reincarnation and whether you actually fractalize back into one great field of soul that has little curves in it that inhabit the bodies of people. i dunno. i'm wrestling with how reincarnation works from my own perspective. thanks for maing me think about that one again. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

I believe I, too, am leaving the habit of worry behind. Bit by bit, I get better at just enjoying the now.

Thanks for this, Steven!

Kathleen said...

Beautiful new banner!

Linda Sue said...

Shhh- so quiet! Peaceful in the pine breeze...Ahhh.
The shot of grass on snow looks a lot like my friend's paintings he makes by blowing on ink which scoots across paper in its own organic way, growing on its own with only a puff of wind through a straw.Simplicity.

Jenny Stevning said...

Steven, thank you! So perfect. So timely. I adore the new photo in the header...and I am happy to see that the snow still falls on your blog.
Namo. (I bow.)

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, steven. It's sort of unusual to leave two comments on one blog post, but I just have to say that I really appreciate the thoughtful responses you provide to each of the people who leave comments on your blog.

Your blog posts are like seeds for interesting correspondence that sprouts up in the comments section. I love that about your blog. And thanks for pointing out I could click on the wang wei words to link to the poems there.

willow said...

The grass did leave a message in the snow for you. Thanks for sharing it with us, Steven. Hope you're enjoying a lovely Saturay! x

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

That poem seems like a perfect mirror to "September Song", simpler but with more depth and less maudlin. Though I love "September Song" as well.

Penny said...

I think I am almost there, but not quite, It ia a lovely poem,
The grass photo is brilliant.

steven said...

hi penny - thanks for visiting! i think that calm is a mvoing state. i look at some people older than myself anf their sense of calm is much different to mine. thanks for your kind comment. steven

steven said...

hey dan thankyou for that. i've always considered it a courtesy to respond in kind to people who leave comments. i enjoy the comments myself! steven

steven said...

hi reya, reading your blog today i'd be inclined to agree. it's a long old journey isn't it. unexpected as well!! steven

steven said...

kathleen thankyou very much! steven

steven said...

hi linda sue, i've done that with my students - it's so cool especially when you place multiple blobs of multi coloured paint on a water field. see you. steven

steven said...

hi willow and thankyou so much. i've enjoyed this day a lot. have a lovely evening at the manor. steven

steven said...

hi jenny stevning - thankyou for your kind comments!!! the snow falls outside and inside. steven

steven said...

hey ladron, i love "september song" also. there was a time when i posted lots of music on this blog. hmmmmm. perhaps i should start thinking that way again. thanks for the visit and the kind comment. steven

Crafty Green Poet said...

what lovely words, specially the first stanza

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

The photograph of the wild grass in the snow is beautiful.
I love the words of wang wei. The simplicity and meaning touches me as I begin to fall into a similar thought. "i stop worrying how things will turn out." That is true for me to some extent, certainly more than in my younger years. There is something about aging that is refreshing.

Luke said...

Hello Steven,

I absolutely love the direction you have taken in your online activity. Your photographs are beautiful and the accompanying text that you provide calls to something quieter in me, something that is always there below the surface of the usual noise of day-to-day. Thank you for providing that little stop, I so desperately need, whenever you magically appear in my numerous blog subscriptions.

warmly,

Luke

Luke said...

Hello Steven,

I absolutely love the direction you have taken in your online activity. Your photographs are beautiful and the accompanying text that you provide calls to something quieter in me, something that is always there below the surface of the usual noise of day-to-day. Thank you for providing that little stop, I so desperately need, whenever you magically appear in my numerous blog subscriptions.

steven said...

hello luke - thankyou for your very thoughtful comment. of course this space is one small representation of my life - inner and outer. i love creating it and sharing it and especially appreciate the opportunity to offer visitors a place to remember what they value. thanks for visiting luke. steven