Thursday, December 30, 2010

Louise Erdrich Reruns: Advice to Myself & Grief

Young Marion, 24 years young, on Lake Bistineau

I love these poems so much, I'm going to repost them. I posted them early this year, in January. I was just reading the comments from Renee and reminiscing about how terribly fragile life is. Blessings---

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Advice to Myself
By Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

~From: "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems", page 149

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Grief
By Louise Erdrich

Sometimes you have to take your own hand
as though you were a lost child
and bring yourself stumbling
home over twisted ice.

Whiteness drifts over your house.
A page of warm light
falls steady from the open door.

Here is your bed, folded open.
Lie down, lie down, let the blue snow cover you.


"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think." ~Lord Byron


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16 comments:

Woman in a Window said...

Marion, I blew your picture up and sat for a moment looking at just how beautiful you are.

Yesterday I came across a photograph of myself that I had never seen before. Two years ago, maybe three. That's all. And yet around my eyes was youth. It all happens so fast.

That second poem, the gentleness with which the narrator treats herself, I don't know that. I think it would be a wonderful way to be though and so I will try. The words themselves are gorgeously soft like a bed.

I see you Marion. Wish I knew your middle name to write it in just there. I see you Marion.

xo
erin

Woman in a Window said...

Marion, I blew your picture up and sat for a moment looking at just how beautiful you are.

Yesterday I came across a photograph of myself that I had never seen before. Two years ago, maybe three. That's all. And yet around my eyes was youth. It all happens so fast.

That second poem, the gentleness with which the narrator treats herself, I don't know that. I think it would be a wonderful way to be though and so I will try. The words themselves are gorgeously soft like a bed.

I see you Marion. Wish I knew your middle name to write it in just there. I see you Marion.

xo
erin

Wine and Words said...

I'm just gonna shed some tears here for awhile Marion. The lovely poems, stumbling on twisted ice, the bed of snow, the song playing....When It Don't Come Easy.
*sniff*

Eric Alder said...

Wonderful poems, Marion. Sometimes it's anguish to realize just how fleeting and fragil life can be.

(I see a fragile beauty in that old photo of you as well - but those eyes say there's more)

Marion said...

Erin, Marion is my middle name. I was named for my father's sister: Florence Marion. I see you, too, Erin, and you are dazzling. Love & Blessings, dearest friend...

Shed away, Annie. I think it was Isak Dinesen who said the cure for everything was salt, tears or the sea. Perfectly true. I love you, my Annie. Blessings...

Thanks, Eric. Oh, those sad eyes of mine! I wish I could talk to that girl and tell her that all will be well and not to be so damned sad... I appreciate you, friend. Blessings...

rosaria said...

Oh, how we are, how we were, how all is bleeding with sadness sometimes. How to be kind to oneself is the greatest lesson one needs to learn.
Love the music.
Blessings to you Florence Marion.

Marion said...

Rosaria, yes, that is so true. I think the secret of life is to figure out how to be kind and loving to ourselves. I know I'm way too hard on myself. I'm glad you enjoyed the music. Love & Blessings back to you...

Pam said...

Absolutely LOVE these poems!!! They speak to me!

Also love the photo of you!! It made me smile, lovely lady!

Marion said...

Thank you so much, Pammie! I'm so happy you enjoyed the poems. Love & Blessings to you and your beautiful family. xoxoxo

Noelle said...

These poems spoke to me today like an arrow straight to my heart. I love your page..the quotes, poetry of yours and others you sahre, the pictures...it's the essence of bliss-ence!

Marion said...

Your comment is pure bliss, too, Noelle. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate you. Blessings!

Serena said...

The poems are wonderful, Marion. And I always love it when you share some of your old photos. You are a natural beauty, dahling -- born to be Princess Dragonfly.:)

Kelly said...

Both poems worth repeating. I especially like that first one.

Your photo is lovely! The scenery in the background is so familiar... reminds me of D'Arbonne, where Pamel use to live.

Woman in a Window said...

Florence Marion

Terresa said...

You and Erdrich seem to have a lot in common, women with fierce hearts and beauty, beauty, beauty.

Kass said...

Wonderful poems. Can't believe I don't know Erdich.

Your young picture reminds me so much of a girl I worked at a summer camp with.