A poem by Deborah Cummins:
The sun is suspended
in the spruce’s lowest branches. No wind
has startled the oaks to rattle.
The only voices are the gulls’, the warblers’,
and nothing in their language
signifies to me expectation.
Oh, that I were capable
of such translation. To think
that because my eyes are now open,
I’ve put the whole thing into motion—
the oldsquaw’s low tide probing,
the osprey’s flight from its nest
of warp and sticks.
That because I throw back the covers,
step into my shows, only now
will the road’s curve beckon.
Like saying because the moon
has disappeared, she no longer exerts
her pull, and the sea needn’t obey
its mistress. Like saying I bear no similarity
to flotsam, along for the ride.
Here’s her website.
Considering last week’s thoughts on free will, this poem is timely. While the idea of putting “the whole thing in motion” simply by waking up (i.e. choosing, on a continual basis, to refuse suicide) might appear slightly ego-centric, in that the osprey (and gull and warbler, et al.) probably care little whether the author wakes up or not, it does at the same time evoke the connection to all things: the relationships that abound in a living ecosystem. And for that matter, simply existing in the world by definition changes it. And even further still, even suicide is as much an act as it is a negation of action. So, we can’t really help changing the course of history, once we’re born. In that regard, we have no choice but to make choices.