A coolness has swept over the spring desert leaving traces of mountain currents dwelling in the corners of wall and eave. Open windows welcome with wide smiles the laughter of zephyrs taking a spin around the dusty edges of books stirring them to fling themselves open and reveal new worlds. The fan overhead twirls gently, encouraging the exchange of breath…in, out, in, out…
In the courtyard, even the morning sun has a less fiery breath upon shoulders and feet when it is dancing among the heights of feathered clouds on a journey to make nostrils quiver and eyes blink rapidly from unfamiliar scents and sensational stimulus. Morning is hours ago though I saw it peek into my room from the tall pane that, arching, had also framed the moon in her growing fullness, her fecundity spreading upon the ground like tendrils of silver roots unseen by daytime vision.
Canine eyes squint facing the sun, while I in my crumpled hat face away from its intensity, my eyes in broad-brimmed droopy-straw shadow while bare arms and legs pinken ever so slightly. Oranges bob, being harvested by birds then gnats and ants that journey far from home for the pale inner flesh.
I randomly select a poem by Emily Dickinson through which to continue my reflection …
The stimulus, beyond the grave
His countenance to see,
Supports me like imperial drams
Through the portal emerges:
From the shadows and the light, they support my journey, these spirits of animals who were always near, moving me forward in good community. They always led and nudged me, helping me find or keep my footing. When lost, they curl around me like invisible quilt of patchwork lives, each piece out of time and space now able to weave itself anywhere so that I can catch my own falling star and put it back where sit needs to be. Their energy ever near, ever clear, transparent yet stronger than any top bridge built across a ravine daunting and scary; they hold my heart and hand, wrapped around me like a band of shadow’s indigo. I know. They are here. Companions, ancestors, lovers and opponents who would support or toss away my dreams in a long line of effort so that I could find my inner design, the pattern of soul frequency that is uniquely me.
We all have those who go before we do, known by touch or just by essence; they support us and we treasure them, their precious gifts. Sometimes unrealized in life, only fully becoming in the space that is shimmering around us. I cannot see them twinkle in the bright glare of day, but, ahhhh…when when shadow falls I see them all for they are the shades of reflection and wisdom, of the young womb or wonder that plays in the dark chasing lightening-bugs and receiving bits of powder-fine dirt into every crevice of barefoot play. Seems only yesterday, they and I were one among earth and stars, one dust, one expanse of ocean depth giggling on the surface in foamy waves teasing each other to see who could reach the grotto first and fill the tidal pool with new life.
The face of encouragement is both smooth and wrinkled, bearded and furred, feathered and twining around rough trunks stable and serene. Whose face do you see? Whose countenance fills you up and stimulates your presence into grace?
Thus far, I could go in myriad directions with every single poem of Emily Dickinson—they are touching on all levels, through metaphor or reality events. No one will ever decipher her essence of meaning in them, not for sure, because we cannot ask her for her truth within them. We can only impose our own perceptions upon them. Can we know her heart depths in them? Is it necessary to? No. She left a legacy of portals through which we can step to explore ourselves, and, yes, play with her explorations of self … though without confirmation. Maybe this is part of why her poems sing to me—they are open-ended, open-souled mystery. Did Emily ever dream that she might be “the stimulus beyond the grave”?