Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Sound of My New Life

Last night, sleep came easy and left early, so I was up again this morning well before first light. As I stood out in the yard, with silhouettes of bare-limbed trees all around the house that just last week were dripping with fall color, thoughts about the changes life has wrought formed around me. After being away for several years from this place where I grew up, I find I'm still growing used to being back, still settling in to a new sense of home. There in the dark, I could almost feel the movement of the universe itself, taking me further away from what was - the places I've been and the people I've known - and pulling me ever closer to the new. And though the cool night air was still hanging around my porch, I was warmed by this feeling. I knew, standing there at the edge of morning, "what's past is always prologue." *

Before I could see the headlights through the trees, I could hear the neighbor's truck as it crossed the bridge that leads to their farm. The now familiar rumbling has become a comforting sound. It's the sound of my new life.

I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens with them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another life that's wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree
rustling over the gravesite
and making real the dream
of the one its living roots embrace:

a dream once lost
among sorrows and songs.

From Rainer Maria Rilke's  Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

*Paraphrased from Shakespeare's The Tempest

Paintings by Henri Rousseau  (1844-1910)


  1. I, too, am still getting used to my new location but certain sounds like you say are comforting, lovely paintings especially the first one.

  2. Rousseau's work has such an innocent quality about it. A nice match to your dreamy early morning. I wonder what it is that causes us to feel the movement of the universe more in the dark; perhaps the absence of people and the quiet of course.

    I also believe our past affects our future. Especially when we come home to it.

  3. May peaceful melodies accompany you wherever you are.

  4. Hi Linda, It seems there are a few of us dealing with changes in location. It's not always easy to adjust, even when returning to Home like I have.

    Rubye Jack, It does seem almost palpable in the dark and seeing the stars so close creates a stronger sense of it. We cannot escape the past, nor would I want to. It's all part of this Now in which we continually find ourselves.

    Friko, Thank You so much.

  5. Getting up early and experiencing the rhythm of the day puts you in tune with your surroundings. I love the art and poetry you find to accompany your thoughts; your posts are works of art in themselves.

  6. Thank you, Nancy. I have fun putting them together. Early morning hours seem to yield interesting ideas and it does give one a sense of harmony with life itself.

  7. Hello Teresa! It's very beautiful what you wrote about your feelings for the new place, where you live. It sounds like a lovely place.

    The Rosseau-painting of Pierrot calls for memories. I had "Carnival Evening" as a poster on my wall in the first years after my divorce. We had the sweet French song "Au clair de la Lune" in connection to the painting at evening high school. Rosseau's paintings are like fairy tales filled with magic.
    Thank you for the Rainer Maria Wilke - poem.
    Grethe `)

  8. HI Grethe, It is nice. It's good to be able to step out into the yard and see the stars.

    "Carnival Evening" is an interesting painting. For some reason, it just seemed to fit my mood and thoughts. Yes, that moon.... They are a bit like "fairly tales filled with magic." That's a lovely description.

  9. I am continually delighted by the pairings you come up with between poetry, prose, and painting. I love the night--whether it is before the dawn or after sunset or the quiet late night when most of the world around me is asleep. It is always a time of contemplation for me and this was perfection.

    I moved away from home in 1999--from Minneapolis to Fargo-Moorhead. I know it doesn't seem that far away, but 250+miles may as well be 2500 when it's very difficult to travel anymore. My son is here and that makes it feel more like home.

    I remember the painting with the man sleeping and the lion from somewhere. Love it! There's something about all of these paintings that is so peaceful to me. Everything that has come before is just the prologue. Awesome!!

    Another great post, Teresa!! :):)

  10. This is such a atmospheric post, Teresa. So lovely, indeed; your prose, the paintings, the poem. I always feel that I connect with your posts.

    In our old house, our garden was large and came right up to our front porch. I used to enjoy sitting out late at night and feel the flowers growing. The back deck was, and is in this house, where early morning hours are a welcoming place to be and I love to feel then see the deer making their morning paths through the property.

  11. Thank you, Rita. There is something about the quiet energy of night that feels right.

    Sometimes 250 miles can be a very long distance. I'm glad to be living nearer my sons, too.

    I appreciate your kind words very much.

    Penny, What a nice thing to say. I'm glad. To "feel the flowers growing," and to feel the deer before you even see them is a very special time. Sometimes, I feel drawn to look outside and there they are, munching away on the grass. I never tire of it. It always feels like a gift. Your deck sounds like a good place for mornings.

  12. A couple of things: first, can't believe that the trees are bare there already. We have just begun the color changes here and it is still in the 80's most days but a cooling trend in supposed to be coming. Second: I wondered if you moved back to your childhood home or just close-by and I see that you have sons close but remember that your Dad had passed away from a previous post and wondered if you have you Mom or siblings close? There is something comforting about being "home" isn't there? It feels so comfortable. I am still wrestling with that at this new place. Still doesn't quite feel like "home" to me but I will adjust because our former home just doesn't feel the same any longer either. I guess that saying is true that you can't go home again. Or can you??

  13. Teri, It's getting quite bare. We had several days of high winds that stripped the trees of leaves.

    I bought a place about twenty miles from my childhood home. Both of my parents have passed. One son lives nearby and the other is a couple of hours away, but comes to visit frequently. I have two sisters who live in Minnesota, another sister in Texas and a brother in Colorado. We're all pretty close.

    I covered the notion of "You can't go home again" in a post last year, when I first came back. I think we can go home again, but it's a new experience and we have to see it as such. We return with a body of experiences that makes it new in many ways. Though I have had mixed emotions about it, I Know it was the right thing to do. And I found a beautiful piece of property with amazing trees and gardens. That helps. :)

  14. Be here now, today
    In the moment, satori
    Dtaw in the deep breath.

  15. I enjoy my mornings alone, it brings a number of thoughts to me. While many are sleeping our world continues, sometimes as if it never slows or comes to rest.

  16. Paul, To me it's All Now, we live in One Endless Day, but I sometimes write in the relative (as opposed to the absolute) in order to convey the human experience. Sometimes I'm the Witness, sometimes I'm the Driver....

  17. Steve, I agree, it's a nice time for contemplation and just being quiet with the sunrise.

  18. This is just how I feel when the leaves fall and we sit on the edge of winter and the turning year.Like the coming of the new day - a time when the past and future mingle. It's a time when I sometimes get nostalgic - feel a kind of sweet melancholy - how much better to feel as you do 'warmed by the new.'

    Lovely post.

  19. Hi Avril, I used to have many days in the fall that wanted to veer towards the melancholy, but I've lessened them and on this morning I felt warm with the feeling of moving further into my new life. It was a very welcome feeling.

    Thank you.

  20. I find the fall to be the perfect time of year for these kinds of thoughts. Add a new environment to it and we're looking at the birthplace of poetry. :-)


  21. Hey Pearl, Thanks for stopping in on this fine Minnesota day. I trust you're holding down the fort, aka the Twin Cities.

    "The birthplace of poetry." I like that. Far better than the birthplace of the Blues... :)

  22. This is so poetical and beautiful and set me dreaming.. thank you..

  23. A beautiful post - so full of atmosphere.

  24. Joan, Thank you. I love knowing that where you are you're experiencing the "opposite" seasons and times.

    Alan, Thank you. It's always good to hear from you.