Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 4: Remembering, Joy Harjo, "Remember"

Tonight, I'm remembering a lot of things.  I'm remembering my daughter as a baby.  Tomorrow is her fourteenth birthday.  In another year, she'll be in high school.  Where did all that time go?

I'm remembering the last time I spoke to my friend, Ray.  It was the Monday of Thanksgiving week, I believe.  I saw him in the hall of the English Department as I was headed to my office.  "Hey, Marty," he called.  I stopped, and we talked about something totally inconsequential.  It might have been pecan pie versus pumpkin pie.  And then I wished him "Happy Thanksgiving," and we parted.  That was it.

Remembering is an act lined with sadness, because it's a reaching back, a grasping, for something that has been lost to the past.  My daughter will never be a baby again.  My friend, Ray, will never have pumpkin pie again.  All memory now.

Saint Marty doesn't think it's too bad to live in the past.  As long as the past includes dark chocolate, maybe some wine, and a bag of Cheetos.


by:  Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is. I met her
in a bar once in Iowa City.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
I heard her singing Kiowa war
dance songs at the corner of Fourth and Central once.
Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.
Remember that you are this universe and that this universe is you.
Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember that language comes from this.
Remember the dance that language is, that life is.

Pass the bottle and the Cheetos

No comments:

Post a Comment