A Quiet Joy by Yehuda Amichai, translated by Chana Bloch
I’m standing in a place where I once loved. The rain is falling. The rain is my home.
I think words of longing: a landscape out to the very edge of what’s possible.
I remember you waving your hand as if wiping mist from the windowpane,
and your face, as if enlarged from an old blurred photo.
Once I committed a terrible wrong to myself and others.
But the world is beautifully made for doing good and for resting, like a park bench.
And late in life I discovered a quiet joy like a serious disease that’s discovered too late:
just a little time left now for quiet joy.
Art by Mozza
Other poems I read this week: (Links attached to read the full poem) "The hardest things. Eat less, much less, and take a vow of silence. Learn the point of vanishing, the moment embers turn to ash, the sun falls down, the sudden white-out comes. And when it comes again - it will - just walk at it. walk into it, and walk, until your know that you're no longer anywhere." -How to Disappear by Amanda Dalton "The world you see is just a movie in your mind. Rocks don't see it. Bless and sit down. Forgive and forget. Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now. That’s the story. That’s the message. Nobody understands it, nobody listens, they’re all running around like chickens with heads cut off. I will try to teach it but it will be in vain, s’why I’ll end up in a shack praying and being cool and singing by my woodstove making pancakes." -The Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac "He spoke of the lands he longed to visit, Where it was never drab or cold. I couldn't understand why he never left, And shook off the school's stranglehold. Then halfway through his final term He took ill and never returned, And he never got to that place on the map Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned."
-Geography Lesson by Brian Patten "...when the dead return to demand accounting, wanting and wanting and wanting everything you have to give and nothing will quench or unhunger them as they take all you make as offering. Then tell you to begin again." -No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum
Recommended Listening: Hello From the Edge of the Earth - Mary Lattimore + The Withdrawing Room The Kayitsu Restaurant Playlist (Ryuichi Sakamoto) Ek Nagma - Lifafa Sketchnote Army Podcast: Austin Kleon Dream 8 (late and soon) - Max Richter
Links of the Week: Pyre by Amitava Kumar The Observers (Photo books recommended by visionaries) Very Good Copy Download 150 Free Coloring Books from Great Libraries, Museums & Cultural Institutions Abstracted Dual Landscapes Created Using Cleverly Placed Mirrors "Before I go any further, let me say that this lecture, like the poetry I write, is the product of a particular imagination — one as informed by belief in a vast and mysterious and yet orderly and purposeful universe as by a deep curiosity about the voices, faces and lives of strangers. Furthermore, I am operating on the notion that poetry can save me from disappearing into the narrow version of myself I may be tempted to resort to when I feel lazy or defeated, or when my greedy ego takes over. I’m operating on the belief that poetry can restore me to the large original self I haven’t yet learned to fully recognize."
-Tracy K. Smith: ‘Staying Human: Poetry in the Age of Technology