Monday, July 16, 2012

{On, In, and Around Mondays} How to dive deep

The water has warmed since we first slipped our toes sideways
past the shimmery surface
to explore what might be hidden beneath

It was early summer then
and we had been tricked into believing
that we lived somewhere further North
where the nights belie the calendar
and the mornings are cloaked with a drop of purple chill

It is further along, now
And many fiery days have blazed and melted
filling the inky pools of dusk
as if devoid of all reason
those same manic days emerge
to sing the familiar refrain on the morrow

There have been no offerings from the sky
all these months
So the lake has a bank now
and there are piles of rocks
large and small
littering the edges
standing like little altars
Ebenezers to the days of rain

There are different water plants, too
Not the familiar duckweed or cattails
But willowy grasses and water dragons in their stead
growing thick and dense
choking out the bellow of the bullfrog
while making beds for cottonmouths

We have come to the water at midday this time
And you boys dive deeper than ever before
I'm startled by your boldness
The lake sort of scares me, of late
And yet you both have grown braver
How is that?
I'm the one inching, by the day, closer and closer to midlife
And where is my fear?
It is palpable and practiced and it pricks at my cheeks

You have decided to explore the bottom of the lake
where it is cold and quiet and dark

Just your feet, at first
and you show me the mud between your toes
proof of your presence in those deep places
My head thinks you should be stunned into defeat
deterred by the muck and mire of the deep
I know I would be

And yet, you both dive under again
letting the green water push you down
closer and closer
to the bottom
Your hands reach out
groping along the depths
searching, exploring, mining
and it is there
that you stumble upon them

They are hard and dark and ugly
but you cup them in your hand
like treasure
As you bring them up to the surface
you bathe them in the water that birthed them
clearing away the mud that
has hidden them
all this time

And then
we see it
the sun slants
and the light
finds a crack
and suddenly
ripples of pearled color
fill up the concave space

And what once was 
hard and closed and black
hidden deep and dark and dead
is transformed
by light

I look out on the surface of the lake
across its patterns and dancing light
and I sigh
for I know that this swelling body
that ebbs and flows
that fills and empties
it holds a deep darkness
that grips and scares and blinds
the weight of which
could suffocate

but that same being
with its trills and tender flickers
its deep quiet and silent ear
it has
luminous joy
bursting through its cracks

 On In Around button


  1. This line: "Ebenezers to the days of rain"

    So rich and full of meaning. Thanks for helping us see through your eyes.

    1. and to think, that line inspired much of the rest....

  2. I so love to read your words. Like Eyvonne I to like that line. Your writing is so colorful and rich. Like having a slice of cheesecake and it melts in your mouth. That's the way your writing fills me. I am blessed to be related to you.

  3. Such a great metaphor for the life we lead. I want to mine the depths of what feels dark and murky too. Beautiful prose, Holly. Thanks so much for this sumptuous and soaking word wave. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Beth. Thankful to have you here.

  4. Beautiful, Holly!