photo via archive.org
The last time I wrote about a love poem, I made myself majorly depressed. I was haunted by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sonnet 42 about the loves we have, and lose, and can’t remember.
She intones at the end:
Put in this barren winter’s light, my love life seemed dreary, hopeless and doomed to end in sorry, silent solitude. Who were those ne’re-do-well former guys in my dah, anyway? Every woman has more failed, forgettable love affairs than she cares to admit.
What a downer.
And yet. My spiral of despair was cut short when I came upon this quote, re-blogged in poem form, on the smart and introspective Tumblr blog, kateopolis:
Whoa, I thought to myself. There’s a totally different perspective…and aspiration here.
So, ladies. If you must compare yourself to a tree, consider John Muir’s interpretation. The tree is solid, grounded, and deep-rooted in earth and its identity (quite literally, in all these instances, duh). But with this sturdy fortitude comes an incredible virtuosity of experience. The winds blow, the earth moves, the sun shines (or doesn’t) and as a being, existing of durable matter in space, this tree, any tree, has infinite potential.
You can see yourself standing there alone, and you can feel that loneliness. Or you can picture the expanding, exploding universe of which you are a part, even as you keep your feet solidly on the ground. Your life – and your love life – doesn’t have to be about loneliness and absence; it can be, forever, about possibility.
It turns out John Muir was an important 19th century naturalist who, among other accomplishments, was a world traveler, author and supreme advocate for the Yosemite woodland. His literary cred is further increased by the fact that his good friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, referred to him as, “more wonderful than Thoreau.” So we can take this guy at his word. The trees are growing, moving, changing, speeding off into the universe, and so are we.
photo via sweetie187
Kateopolis Tumblr Blog
John Muir Wikipedia
John Muir Obituary, December 25, 1914
John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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