2 poems by nikaela marie

so good to read you Nikaela Marie

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There are two bits from two different poems that have repeated themselves in my mind often over the past few months.  The first is from a poem by Sarah Ruhl called Addressed to the Gods of Unnecessary Labors:

“I want treasure I did not ask for,
the way I didn’t ask to be born.”

The second is from a poem by Joy Harjo called Praise the Rain:

Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity.”

I think about how I don’t, it turns out, want my children to become who I want them to become, but instead, to just become.  I want to take myself out of the equation so that they can be seen more clearly.  Treasure I didn’t ask for.  I want to notice and absorb and not manipulate.  Like going on a hike and not collecting the pinecones.  This said, I don’t want to be without my wishes for them either.  I want to want.  Desires gathered up and heavy, my body growing sore with them, our house growing slack with them.  I want my children to be hardworking and kind.  I want them to be curious and persistent and creative and resilient.  The stand of trees, the dignity.

I think about how, when you’re skinny dipping in cold water you are thrilled. Your legs assess the depth and risk of the lake. You feel a backwards sort of vertigo, held and suspended at the same time, you can’t know what you wish to know.  The water touches parts of you you’d forgotten.  The way I didn’t ask to be born.  I want to hold on to this feeling.  Because I so often feel instead like I am guiding a life raft through the waves, fully clothed, my mouth filling with water.

Question: Can there ever be “treasure you didn’t ask for” on the Internet?  I doubt it because our paths through it are a constant asking.  We are never surprised but always feel surprised.  It is like Narcissus’s pond.  It is like Pooh and Piglet and the Woozle: we are following our own tracks, gazing at our own reflection, but mistaking them for the tracks and reflection of an alluring other.

Praise the hurt. The house slack” This year I am very comforted that hurt might be something worthy of praise.  And slack feels like a very good word for a house that we’ve spent so much (too much) time in.  A kind word.  A slack house sounds like a house where the porch boards are warped and no one minds.  Where there are piles of books and chipped paint and people are comfortable with solitude.

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love and thanks to you Nikaela and to you all reading xx