Morning Trip (208)

“The Heart Remembers Everything It Loved
Everything remembers something. The rock, its fiery bed,
cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
of watery fingers along its edge.

The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
gathering itself together for the fall.

The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
the sand under the beaks of savage birds.

The tree remembers the story of each ring, the years
of drought, the floods, the way things came
walking slowly towards it long ago.

And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
and the arms remember lifting up the child.

The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
everything it lost and found again, and everyone
it loved, the heart cannot forget.”

– Joyce Sutphen

Morning Trip (119)

“As far back as I can remember, things seen or heard or smelled, things tasted or touched, have provoked in me an answering vibration. The stimulus might be the sheen of moonlight on the needles of a white pine, or the iridescent glimmer on a dragonfly’s tail, or the lean silhouette of a ladder-back chair, or the glaze on a hand-thrown pot. It might be bird song or a Bach cantata or the purl of water over stone. It might be a line of poetry, the outline of a cheek, the arch of a ceiling, the savor of bread, the sway of a bough or a bow. The provocation might be as grand as a mountain sunrise or as humble as an icicle’s jeweled tip, yet in each case a familiar surge of gratitude and wonder wells up in me.

Now and again some voice raised on the stairs leading to my study, some passage of music, some noise from the street, will stir a sympathetic thrum from the strings of the guitar that tilts against the wall behind my door. Just so, over and over again, impulses from the world stir a responsive chord in me — not just any chord, but a particular one, combining notes of elegance, exhilaration, simplicity, and awe.”

— Scott Russell Sanders, Hunting for Hope