10.09.2010

A View From the Front Porch: The Silence of Plants

I really love my new front porch. It is a place I can sit and be surrounded by quiet beauty at the end of the day. The jumbled thoughts of a day in the classroom can be sorted out. A cat can come and get reacquainted while a dog rests by my side. Quiet conversations about the highlights of the day can be exchanged over a cup of tea or a cool drink. I also really love the poetry of Wistawa Szymborska. This poem resonated with me this morning as I reflecting from my front porch.

The Silence of Plants
 
A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are,
and I know what happens to you in April and December.
Though my curiosity is unrequited,
I gladly stoop for some of you,
and for others I crane my neck.
I have names for you:
maple, burdock, liverwort,
eather, juniper, mistletoe, and forget-me-not;
but you have none for me.
After all, we share a common journey.
When traveling together, it's normal to talk,
exchanging remarks, say, about the weather,
or about the stations flashing past.
We wouldn't run out of topics
for so much connects us.
The same star keeps us in reach.
We cast shadows according to the same laws.
Both of us at least try to know something,
each in our own way,
and even in what we don't know
there lies a resemblance.
Just ask and I will explain as best I can:
what it is to see through my eyes,
why my heart beats,
and how come my body is unrooted.
But how does someone answer questions
which have never been posed,
and when, on top of that
the one who would answer
is such an utter nobody to you?
Undergrowth, shrubbery,
meadows, and rushes…
everything I say to you is a monologue,
and it is not you who's listening.
A conversation with you is necessary
and impossible,
urgent in a hurried life
and postponed for never. 

-Wistawa Szymborska

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