watch the waters flow

Don’t dye it, don’t pull it out,
let it grow all over your head.
No medicine can stop the whiteness,
the blackness won’t last out the fall.
Lay your head on a quiet pillow, hear the cicadas,
idly incline it to watch the waters flow.
The reason we can’t rise to this broader view of life
is because, white hair, you grieve us so!

~Ch’i-chi (864-937)      Translation: Burton Watson

trees-4web
Nikon D750     f/7.1    1/320    44mm    100 ISO   (neutral density lens)

100 days…84th day

Clipped Wings

dreamingdoubleexposure

How did it come to this?

A forced landing, weakened wings

a solid source of former strength,

taking you through 

dark clouds and heavy downpours.

 

Those resilient wings assured your

bodily independence

as you soared through storms,

high winds battering

and pressing upon your life.

whiteblossom

 

Now those same weathered wings

bear evidence of missing feathers,

thinning bones and shrunken wingspan,

no longer able to lift and sour

or glide with the gusto that carried

you through turbulent tempests.

 

Slowly, slowly you learn to accept

those clipped wings, to be content

with nesting in the arms of elderhood.

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You submit to this final appendage

of your journey, bid farewell

to cherished autonomy

and slowly fold your worn wings

in peaceful surrender.

                                                        ~Joyce Rupp*

 

*cited:

Fly While You Still Have Wings

Joyce Rupp