Twilight over Tioga Lake

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti"

The latest title I have ripped off is the name of a song by Sufjan Stevens. I find it rather provocative. The song itself is very simple and beautiful. I'm trying to figure out if the song is a father or mother talking, or perhaps God talking to his "son?" Or someone talking to God? I know Stevens is really religious. Here, you figure it out.

I have called you children, I have called you son.
What is there to answer if I'm the only one?
Morning comes in Paradise, morning comes in light.
Still I must obey, still I must invite.
If there's anything to say, if there's anything to do,
If there's any other way, I'll do anything for you.

I was dressed embarrassment.
I was dressed in wine.
If you had a part of me, will you take you're time?
Even if I come back, even if I die
Is there some idea to replace my life?
Like a father to impress;
Like a mother's mourning dress,
If you ever make a mess, I'll do anything for you

I have called you preacher; I have called you son.
If you have a father or if you haven't one,
I'll do anything for you. I did everything for you.

The song resonates for me because of the "I'll do anything for you" reprise. Think about that for a minute. Are there beings out there you would do anything for? Really, anything? There are situation and people that come to mind when I hear that song, but when I think about the "anything" part I start getting freaked out. Maybe you're not supposed to think about it that much.

There is a person in my life who has committed countless selfless acts, and would do most anything for her children. That person along with a large part of the world has a day coming up--that's right, Mom. My mom did not have the easiest life as a child, yet somehow managed to break the cycle and be the best Mom ever for me and my brother and sister. I wish I could say I wrote a poem about her, but at this moment I do not have one. But I did find one by Mary Oliver that reminds me of my mother rising above hardships to embrace happiness. So, no originals today--but sometimes others say what you want to say even better. This is for the widows, the fatherless, my mother, and all those who have ever "dared to happy" in the darkest moments.

Happy Mother's Day Mom and all moms.

Morning Poem by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches--
and the ponds appear like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is in your nature
to be happy
you will swim along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead--
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging--

there is still somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted--

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

About Me

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San Francisco, CA
Elissa is an east coast transplant making her way through life by way of San Francisco. This amazing city provides lots of fodder for writers of all types. I find inspiration for writing through life's little and bizarre events, such as grocery shopping for dog treats, salamander hunting, and insomnia. I am a preschool teacher in "real life."