Friday, June 12, 2009

Silver Linings.

The Sunday Scribblings prompt is "absurd", and there's nothing absurd about my life right now. Maybe I should label this "Not Absurd". Will that qualify this post (which was already posted once)? This first paragraph is just an addendum to my previous post, but I want to feel part of the Sunday Scribblings gang again.

I half promised to tell you (I added, "with indignation") about how Otto's accident happened. I've changed my mind about that. For one thing, the City of El Cerrito responded promptly to our request that their sunken patios be fenced to prevent another such terrible fall. Also I'm determined not to focus on Otto's death but on the full rich life I have shared with him.

This is a poem I wrote thirty years ago when we spent a large part of the summer at a conference on solar energy.

Otto lecturing on efficient motors

Otto was giving a lecture and demonstration; I admiring him. Before the lecture was over, I had written this verse:
OTTO
(Trieste, 1979)
Quicksilver
quick and silver.
Quick hands that sweep and gesture
following the quick mind
ideas that dart and dazzle
then drop like silver rain
to fill a pool of reason.
Silver hair whose wavy petals
lie against the nape and temple
crest like surf along the brow.
Quick face that glints and sparkles
in the light of his enthusiasms
or softens with compassion
for the suffering of others.
Quick to laughter.
Quick to joy in every living creature.
Quick hands that can:
spring to capture sunning lizards
adjust the timing of an engine
hammer
saw
wield a wrench
gently hold a grandchild's trusting hand
or coax the sweet notes from his old guitar.

Guitar and violin and voice all sing
the voice more gold than silver
deep and resonant
at variance with his Pan quicksilver figure.
Gray eyes that see not just the fact
but the fact beyond the fact
voice passionate to proclaim it.
Curiosity and courage.
Quick in loving people, places:
students
family
ragged outcasts
redwoods, firs of Mendocino
scent of leaves
warmth of sunlight.

Careful not to hurt another
detecting like a silvered mirror
others' hopes and doubts and feelings.
Quick to recklessness when rushing
to do battle with oppression.

Quicksilver
quick and silver
scintillating
life-affirming
love inspiring.

17 comments:

Rinkly Rimes said...

What a beautiful beautiful poem and what a perfect love to inspire it!

bunnygirl said...

I'm glad the city took your complaint seriously, even if it wasn't soon enough for Otto. Being angry about the past is only helpful when that anger can result in positive action. It sounds like yours did.

I think you're wise to prefer to stay in a place of love. Our loved ones don't want us to live narrow, bitter lives.

Granny on the Web said...

Your love for Otto keeps shining like the brightest star. Wonderful words you have written, they must now seem like balm to ease your pain.
Hugs to you.
Love Granny

Maggie May said...

Your love for Otto will always be apparent with every breath you breath.
This is a beautiful poem.

I hope that the council will take heed of your request.

Understanding Alice said...

thank you for sharing more of your heart for Otto, its a real joy to read.

linda may said...

G'day Granny, Just dropping b to see what you are up to. What a lovely tribute to your darling.

Winifred said...

What a beautiful poem. Otto must have loved this and you for creating it.

You've shared such a wonderful life together which many people never do.

It's so sad what happened but wonderful that you can focus on the positive things in your lives together and you generously share them with us. Thank you.

b said...

May I say it is such a priveldge to have you here with us. The poem is so beautiful...

I loved the focus for your life. I am sure you have always done this so it will be easier for you now.

Much love and thank you.

b

Lucy said...

I just adore your attitude Granny, on focusing on the full, richness of your lives and not on the accident, you honor your beloved once again. Your poem gave me chills as does the love you've been blessed to share with such an exemplary man.
I send you a big bouquet of hugs and much admiration! xoxo

ChefDruck said...

Granny,
What a wonderful attitude you have, even as you grieve. I love the diversity of images in your poem, from wielding a wrench to guiding a grandchild's hand. Beautiful poem.

Irene Toh said...

Hi Granny, what a wonderful way to cope with extreme loss, to focus on the rich life before.

anthonynorth said...

You're focusing just right. That place can still give so much comfort.

linda may said...

G'Day Granny,
You are and have always been a part of the sunday Scribblings gang, we will still be here when you are ready for us.
Love Linda.

alister said...

Marvelous! I like that you wrote this poem while admiring him. I like that it’s possible to love someone that much. And I wonder what he thought of it and what he did when you showed it to him : )
Miss A

Dee Martin said...

I second alister - would love to know his reaction. That would be a story I'll bet. This was precious.

Beth said...

A lovely poem, and very much not absurd to celebrate your life long love and Otto's shimmering brilliance -- which still inspires. He seems such an impeccable role model, coming from a time when change seemed possible to heal the world. More people like Otto are needed. Keep telling the stories. I hope you are surrounded by love and comfort now.

Janie said...

Your poem is lovely, and a great description of an intelligent, loving man.