A writer I know of, a nature writer, in fact a staff member of a revolutionary kind of magazine called “Emergence” held several seminars where we got to witness the process, as they told it, of authors, who were writing environmentally. They spoke of both their love and their grief as they wrote on the theme of what is living today, and how it is living.
This was important to me because any time I think of the environment, I also think of grief. That’s just me. I harken to what has been lost. I harken to what we will lose. I harken to trying to save what it is we can save, and I am witness to successes in that in my very own garden. I took a video of the bees on my flowers today. It is such a simple thing to make sure that there are flowers blooming in each season: spring, summer, and fall. I am also grateful for winter here, because it makes me appreciate the other seasons even more. I know, in my blood, I was born for four seasons, not the two of CA. I guess another reason I moved.
Anyway, I was impressed with Chelsea Scudder enough to subscribe to her “Substack.” She had a special deal. If you subscribed for the year, she would send you a poem made just for you, if you gave her a parameter or two, and send it to you on a post card. I did. And she did.
I don’t remember exactly what the post card said, I have it around here somewhere. But I love that her poem included a question. “What is it of the wild” she said in these or other words “that you want to listen to?” That has been a great question, though I haven’t be able to put any kind of answer to that question, into words, much less a poem lately.
I used to think much of myself and my poems, which almost invariably had a nature theme. As I look over the ones I’ve written, mostly just after I first moved here, though they are beautiful snapshots of moments forever to cherish, I also notice a bit self-consciousness, a bit of pompousness even in that work
Perhaps I am being unkind to myself, but I am looking more and more for direct experiences, experiences unmediated by my expectations, my opinions, my determining what things are.
More and more, I want to include everything. Nature is a bit of a harsh mistress. For things to live some other thing must die. As I get closer to my own death, I harken to the echoes that these experiences provided. They are not the kind of experiences that fit onto a vacation postcard. They are as vividly stark and as difficult to assimilate at times, as they are shockingly beautiful. Both are true, one does not exclude the other. The only way to find my own beauty, is to find, and gather in my own ugliness somehow, and take it beyond any opinions that words like,”ugly,” for example, try to limit us to.