Friday, April 14, 2006

It is Not a Burn

Yesterday was the second luscious beach day in a row. Southern Californians usually don't have to savor them quite this much, but the weather is a little strange recently—global warming and melting polar ice caps and what not. So I now have the perfect tourist tan: my legs are the exact shade as my favorite Matt Hotch toenail polish, and in two days they will be the perfect shade of bronze, and then a week after that, they will peel, all segmented and reptilian.

As if vacation couldn't get any more perfect, I read my first book of the break last night, between about 10pm and 2am. I hate reading books that way, in one sitting, but when I get sucked in I cannot stop—I have reserves of will power in every other area of my life, but I cannot stop a book. It was The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. There are some particularly well crafted sentences and images, and if I had read the book properly, with pencil in hand, I could now share some with you, but it didn't quite happen that way. Second time through, perhaps. I like Sue Monk Kidd in part because I identify with her journey. She was a Christian writer for a long time; I remember her name from the magazines my mom allowed me to read as a child. Then she had an awakening and began a transformation in her system of beliefs. I read her book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, and found it very thought provoking.

The poem for today is excerpted in the beginning of The Mermaid Chair :

Love Sonnet XVII
Pablo Neruda (translated by Mark Eisner)

I don't love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain dark things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don't know any other way to love,
except in this way in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber como, ni cuándo, ni de donde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


Post a Comment

<< Home

website statistics