Saturday, November 9, 2013

Toward a More Elegant Attention (Hannah Stephenson)

Oh big branch in the river
who will get you out
who will fetch you

When a dog holds a stick
in his mouth

moves it across the park
and leaves
the memory lives in the dog’s jaw

and in the fallen stick

But when someone burns that stick
and years later, the dog is gone

where can the truth survive

Where did all of these sticks come from
you would think a whole forest
has been released

a passel of arrows

The remembered pets
how a human calls a human
who was a child alongside them

just to say
remember what a good dog she was

The light
doesn’t want to say

anything to anybody

“Toward a More Elegant Attention” was composed on a walk I like to take through downtown Columbus, along an area called the Scioto Mile (on the Scioto riverfront). There are small, beautiful seating areas along the meandering path. My favorite things are these bench swings (think park bench + porch swings). This fall has been very full of projects, and taking weekly long walks has helped to keep me sane, and inspired. During one such walk, I was noticing everything more closely – the oranges and reds of the trees, the smell of leaves in the air, the scuffed up concrete, the dog owners walking with their dogs. The more I looked, the lovelier things became, even the not-beautiful things. The ordinary is elevated by our attention — certainly one reason art is valuable.

No comments:

Post a Comment