Hello, my friends!
It has been a rather quiet year on the blog so far, but that will be changing hopefully soon. Finding a new rhythm since moving to NY has been a little … well, bumpier than expected. But I have some exciting things in the works for the fall and beyond into 2019.
In the meantime, I wanted to share something that’s been TWO YEARS in the making. A friend and I got together and created a poetry video for a poem of mine that I rewrote/revised in 2016. We shot the footage in Crested Butte, Colorado, and then we … spent a long time sitting on it before its completion. But now it’s here!
Please watch the performance and tell me what you think! The full poem is written below, along with some thoughts about it.
VIDEO: Life! (A Poem About Celebrating Nature & Childlike Wonder)
Life! by Teryn O’Brien
I felt cold,
passing me by.
I was a prisoner
the buzz, buzz,
of never-ending business—
in the dimness of
I forgot Life
is not a schedule,
I forgot Life
is not an iPhone,
I forgot Life
is not a jail.
And then the Light—
it hits like a great comet
warming our weary hearts.
A shattering, a splintering,
leaving us reeling
Light illuminating Life
in all its complex glory.
Life, life, life—
Life so glorious,
See, you see,
my heart, it came alive
what once was dying now stirred.
I’d forgotten leaves shine sharp against the sky—
a hundred different humming sounds play within a meadow—
the gliding river’s foam glistens in sunlight—
trees whisper secrets, clapping joyfully to a wind-filled song.
I’d forgotten frogs perch on lily pads,
birds weave nests for their young,
that rainbows rise in waterfalls,
and dew drops dawn
on grass blades
every new morning!
Children’s elementary lessons
hold the very foundation of Being.
Oh my Life,
You are beyond my reach,
farther than the sky,
mightier than the mountains,
vast as the ocean.
You are every Song a thousand times over,
You are eternity and every second.
You are in the smallest yellow-spiked caterpillar—
red-haired fox sniffing dirt roads—
blue-feathered bird trailing insects—
And I want to trail along with them!
Gazing towards the sky
like a five year-old-child
oblivious to dead-eyed people,
yelling at the top of my voice:
“Life, Life, Life!”
So others, join with me!
Let Light shatter you—
and find the Life.
We will watch each cloud take shape,
laughing a million times at the sun winking through trees,
sprinting wild down mountain paths
to take the next corner
—and the next! and the next!—
We will sip Life wine down by the dregs,
dancing in lowlights,
skipping below stars.
Oh my Life,
never let Us slumber again!
Fight this battle for wonder and aliveness
so We can’t stop from singing,
faces from glowing,
minds from dreaming.
**This poem is dedicated to the state of Colorado and D.C.**
This poem was written after someone I loved died. I had written a poem like this before, but something in me needed to revise it into its present form as I grieved the death of another beloved person gone from my life due to unforeseen tragedy (It’s not my Kindred Spirit, for those of you who have read my blog. This grief I didn’t write much about publicly).
This person had, in many ways, stoked the poet’s flame within me once more—and part of being a poet is to really revel in all the beautiful little things that we so often take for granted. So I wrote this poem to remember all the wonders of nature, all the small things happening around us that fill the word with light and Life.
I believe that there is great pain in the world, but I also believe that there is great joy and beauty all around us if we only look. I believe that healing can come, and that no matter what kind of heartbreak or tragedy comes our way, we can still learn to run wild and free down mountain paths no matter how far away from the idylls of childhood we’ve wandered.
There is a spark within all of us that calls us forward into a path of adventure, of creativity, of healing. And as adults, we can walk those sacred paths and find wholeness.
This is something I will be continuing to explore on this blog through writing and other means in the future. While 2018 has been in many ways a hiatus, I will be back. (And I have some other things in the works.) For now, I hope this poem sinks into your soul no matter where you’re at on your journey through grief or joy, pain or triumph.
Let this poem remind you that there is hope. There is always hope. You can sing, you can smile, you can laugh, you can wonder again.
Never give up—for where there is Life, there is wonder and hope for the renewal of all things.