the elephantine-pressures of being

Collage 20.jpg

The bed held a designer duvet, and a toss of kitschy comfy comforting cushions. The kind you held tight to your abdomen when tears made your stomach hurt. A firm but giving memory foam mattress; favourite positions never forgotten. The $300. sheets would caresses on lonely nights, provide sumptuous remembrances of your own specialness, importance. The closet was full of funky things like flowered rubber boots, and stained-glass clothing spiraling on forever. A room decorated with love; a sanctuary of peace against the elephantine-pressures of being you. Flowers, lovingly picked and placed, to be found on sad days. The gift of a new book to be devoured then artfully placed on the shelves.

The only thing that jarred in that perfect room – the incongruous hand-lettered poster crookedly taped to the bedroom-side of the door. A question asked; no answer given.

I googled Mary Oliver, and was drawn into her poetry, such “The Summer Day” source of the wonderous quote chosen for MLMM collage 20.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

House of Light, 1990; New and Selected Poems, 1992



3 thoughts on “the elephantine-pressures of being

  1. wildchild47 says:

    Interesting piece regarding the collage. I like how you created or recreated that special place, the sense of safety, well being, security a bedroom is *supposed* to offer, but with the “catch” – the poster. That slightly niggling poke in the heart and mind that is supposed to be a positive, encouraging force, but can, too often, be a source of great discomfort and pain.

    And thanks for including the poem – wow – that is beauty in words.

    *sighing* to be able to create and stir the senses like that? …. a dream …. perhaps later, or tomorrow?


the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things . . .

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