Louise posted

After six weeks away from my desk I choose to offer you a delicious podcast for your listening pleasure.

Krista Tippett, host of ‘On Being’ podcast, interviews poet Marie Howe. Her talk had a profound effect upon me. It caused me to recognize my own thirst for the creative.  Everyone is creative and we have been hardwired with a DNA that longs to have the power unleashed.

Marie Howe appears to stumble upon the key to unlocking the power of her words. This leads her to a life devoted to poetry.  Kunitz,  from the American Academy of Poets, observed, “Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred.”  Howe composes the poem below as an elergy to her brother, John, who died of HIV Aids in the eighties. It also serves as a reminder to push ourselves to live in the present moment and to find the sacred in the ordinary things.

WHAT THE LIVING DO
Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

 ENJOY LISTENING HERE TO THE PODCAST