Tag Archives: grateful

Ashes of Soldiers

 
 
ASHES of soldiers!
As I muse, retrospective, murmuring a chant in thought,
Lo! the war resumes—again to my sense your shapes,
And again the advance of armies.Noiseless as mists and vapors,
From their graves in the trenches ascending,
From the cemeteries all through Virginia and Tennessee,
From every point of the compass, out of the countless unnamed graves,
In wafted clouds, in myraids large, or squads of twos or threes, or single ones, they
come,
And silently gather round me.Now sound no note, O trumpeters!
Not at the head of my cavalry, parading on spirited horses,
With sabres drawn and glist’ning, and carbines by their thighs—(ah, my brave
horsemen!
My handsome, tan-faced horsemen! what life, what joy and pride,
With all the perils, were yours!)Nor you drummers—neither at reveille, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp—nor even the muffled beat for a burial;
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.But aside from these, and the marts of wealth, and the crowded promenade,
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
The slain elate and alive again—the dust and debris alive,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.

Phantoms of countless lost!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions!
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live.

Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living! sweet are the musical voices sounding!
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.

Dearest comrades! all is over and long gone;
But love is not over—and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battle-fields rising—up from foetor arising.

Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal Love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers,
Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride!

Perfume all! make all wholesome!
Make these ashes to nourish and blossom,
O love! O chant! solve all, fructify all with the last chemistry.

Give me exhaustless—make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go, like a moist perennial dew,
For the ashes of all dead soldiers.

 ~Walt Whitman

The Flash

 “There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”

~L.M. Montgomery (The Story Girl)

Dear Readers,

L.M. Montgomery has been one of my favorite writers from the time I was a tween and I first read Emily Climbs.  I was enamored by her main protagonist, Emily, who loved writing, life, nature, and was filled with “gumption.”  She experienced “the flash” and from the moment I read about her experience in the text, I felt at home between those pages I eagerly devoured (metaphorically speaking of course 🙂 ).  Emily writes, “Words are such fascinating things. . . The very sound of some of them–‘haunted’–‘mystic’–for example, gives me the flash. (Oh, dear! But I have to italicize the flash. It isn’t ordinary–it’s the most extraordinary and wonderful thing in my whole life. When it comes I feel as if a door had swung open in a wall before me and given me a glimpse of–yes, of heaven).”  Lovely!  She summarized for years how I felt as a small child when stories would sneak up from behind and demand I write them by nightlight (risking my mom or dad catching me awake when I was already supposed to be fast asleep on a school night). 

I hope never to forget the feeling when I capture a moment so real, so intense, so full of passion or grief or joy.  When I am allowed glimpses into my past from my muses and these backward glances overwhelm me, I can once again BE that barefoot four-year old child riding a green bike with a suede banana seat or I can taste honeysuckle nectar on my tongue or I can inhale the neighbors’ perfumed orange blossoms that fill me with summer calm.  I am so grateful for emotions that may be expressed in words, words that are as real to me as this laptop I am typing on or the comfy bed I sleep in or the stir fry I will later make.  Today, I was granted this gift of just BEing and I am thankful.

xoxo,

Pamela

Dear Jess

This blog post is dedicated to my best friend, my kindred spirit. She is talented, beautiful, humble (too humble), patient, faithful, dedicated, loyal and incredibly intelligent (just to name a few). She’s been there, here and everywhere for me the last so many years, and I can’t imagine my life without her in it.

Who knows what 2011 holds? I’m sure there’s some great stuff waiting to happen. We just don’t know when or how or who or what. But, as long as she’s in it, I’m good (even when I’m feeling bad), I’m okay (even when the floor falls out underneath me), I’m alright (even when all hell breaks loose).

Friend, we’ll step forward one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, and, sometimes, one second at a time (and we’ll do it with love in our hearts).