I’m still making my way through Robert Hass’ What Light Can Do. This poem, My Grandma, by Chinese Xi Chuan is just incredible.
My grandma coughed, and woke one thousand roosters.
A thousand roosters crowed and woke up ten thousand people.
Ten thousand people walked out of the village, the roosters still crowing.
Then the roosters’ crowing stopped, but my grandma still coughed.
My grandma, still coughing, talked about her grandma, her voice growing dimmer and dimmer,
as if my grandma’s grandma’s voice was growing dimmer and dimmer.
My grandma talked and talked and then stopped, and closed her eyes
as if my grandma’s grandma actually died at that moment.
Hass describes it as having “a lightness and quickness of imagination that is not much like Western notions of Chinese poetry.”
Whatever it has, I love it.
I’ve been making my way through a 365 project – a photo a day for a year. I’m compiling them in an album on my Facebook page, but as I’ve hit 50 days, I was curious to reflect on my progress so far.
Looking through them, I’ve noticed a theme of light: particularly interesting because I’m slowly reading What Light Can Do by Robert Hass. I bought a Kindle copy years ago but it wasn’t until I bought a paperback copy that I’ve been able to fully immerse myself in the book. Having restarted at the beginning, this collection of essays “on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World” is challenging me to slow down and keep a dictionary on hand.
I’m going to save further exploration of his essays for a later time. Right now, I just want to share the photos from my project that I think are especially relevant to the idea of light.
I could not forsake my solitude.
My desire to be alone is the ache
I could never ignore.
Yet, your eyes are like coming
suns, and your voice like floating lavender.
When I see you, I see all of summer
rising to dance.
Apparently I’m more easily distracted from this place than I like to think. Once again it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything here-an embarrassingly long time. Whoops.
It’s that clichéd time of new beginnings though, so here I am, back again.
For Christmas, I gave my mother photos of almost each member of our family. We rarely cooperate the way she’d like when she pulls the camera out for a family photo, so I made us each smile nicely for individual portraits, which I then printed and framed for her.
Here are those portraits!
I love these folks.