Saturday, December 13, 2008

thirty plus four

there are all sorts of people in our lives. you may have friends that are a part of your life very briefly, some whom wander in and out, others who are on the periphery but constant, and rarely, you may be gifted with friends who walk with you daily over the years. friendship in whatever form is to be treasured - it is my friends over the years who have shaped me, who bear with my weaknesses, endure my lame qualities, act as my number one fans, and triumph with me in the joys of life. 

i've known nancy grace since i was 18 years old, and we have journeyed through many of life's seasons together. she is a lover of many things: people, gardening, wine, history, learning, god, her son, husband and family, reading newsweek before she falls asleep, teaching, friends, voting and the political process, the dimond, justice, perseverance, malcolm gladwell, silver nail polish, good hair product for curlies, gilmore girls, the west wing, coldplay, running, zephyr cove, anita's pies, cornelia's cinnamon buns, peets coffee, farmers market, little m, among other things. 

i am so grateful for her. she has made my life richer in countless different ways, and i am a wiser, better human being because of years of friendship with her. she truly champions causes that she believes in, and that includes her friends. she loves the poet billy collins, and i thought the spirit of the below poem was one which i hoped she could carry through this upcoming year. i hope that each of us is able to find joy and contentment in our little worlds, and that we can resonate with the feeling that
beyond this table
there is nothing that i need

nanc, i hope i'm sitting at the table with you for many years to come. grace, peace, and joy to you on your birthday.

I Ask You

What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
white cabinets full of glass,
the telephone silent,
a pen tilted back in my hand?
It gives me time to think
about all that is going on outside—
leaves gathering in corners,
lichen greening the high grey rocks,
while over the dunes the world sails on,
huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.
But beyond this table
there is nothing that I need,
not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
with cracked green leather seats.
No, it's all here,
the clear ovals of a glass of water,
a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
not to mention the odd snarling fish
in a frame on the wall,
and the way these three candles—
each a different height—
are singing in perfect harmony.
So forgive me
if I lower my head now and listen
to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
while my heart
thrums under my shirt—
frog at the edge of a pond—
and my thoughts fly off to a province
made of one enormous sky
and about a million empty branches.

-Billy Collins

1 comment:

  1. okay wow this is like a birthday card times 10. and you know how i am with birthday are the current #1 emergency contact


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