Iris virginica ~ Brazoria county
When you wake to the dream of now
from night and its other dream,
you carry day out of the dark
like a flame.
When spring comes north, and flowers
unfold from earth and its even sleep,
you lift summer on with your breath
lest it be lost ever so deep.
Your life you live by the light you find
and follow it on as well as you can,
carrying through darkness wherever you go
your one little fire that will start again.
“The Dream of Now” ~ William Stafford
Comments always are welcome.
43 thoughts on “The Dream of Now”
Good morning, Linda! Beautiful way to start the day.
And good evening to you, Shannon. I hope your day stayed beautiful. I was glad we avoided bad weather, even though it seems we’ll have a dose tonight. After that? A beautiful weekend’s on tap — enjoy it!
Just in case you missed it, the Artists’ Boat new bird blind down on Galveston Island — Settegast and Stewart Road — had its dedication last weekend. Together with Lafitte’s Cove and the Kelly Hamby Nature Center, there’s a nice day of exploring to be had on the West End.
I will definitely check it out! I’m pretty impatient when it comes to birds, rarely sit and wait for them to come to me; there’s something exhilarating and challenging about the chase!
Thanks for introducing me to a poem with which I was unfamiliar, but which is quite beautiful, and encapsulates the renewal of life so well.
William Stafford’s a poet I’ve come to appreciate. He’s not nearly so well known as some, but his work is consistently good. If I may say so, with just a hint of a smile, his work suggests that a gracious approach to life, and the graciousness of life, don’t always require the sort of rituals that some prefer. The seasons are quite capable of turning without them.
Beautiful on so many levels. Thanks, Linda.
You’re welcome. I thought “the flowers unfolding from earth” and the unfurling petals made a good match.
In the light of so much that is going on, this is well timed. The whole world could use a bit of encouragement. Beautiful choice.
You’re right that a little encouragement and beauty is appropriate. It’s been one of ‘those’ weeks, and it’s getting tiring. We forget the refreshment of poetry and petals at our peril — there’s more to life than continual rage.
What a lovely shot! I can almost feel the texture on this blossom. I don’t recall reading this poem before, but it, too, is spectacular. Thank you for cheering up a heavy, gray day, Linda!
It’s a fine poem, isn’t it? His structure always is so tight, and clear. He’ll use rhyme, too, but I sometimes miss it the first time or two through a new poem — as I missed it with this one.
As for the iris, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know our native varieties (which this is). I grew up with fancy irises, but I think the simpler native varieties are so nice. Louisiana seems to be iris heaven — I missed them this year, but maybe I’ll make a point of seeing them next year. The list of must-sees is getting longer!
Such a nice companion poem to the photo/flower–or maybe, the other way around? Beautiful photo, painterly.
Chicken, meet egg. I’ve had the poem in my files for some time, and today seemed a good day to find a mate for it. I thought they worked together wonderfully well — especially since it just didn’t seem the time to post the giant water bug!
They work together incredibly well. This is my first encounter with William Stafford but irises are a long time favourite of mine.
I have more Stafford simmering on the back burner, and also a yellow native Louisiana iris, which is quite different from the bearded irises, and beautiful. I think you’ll like both.
I feel sure I will.
Sweet pic! :) We heard that there have been damaging winds and hail in Texas; we hope that you are OK!
So far, so good. Austin’s really taking it now, and that’s the system that’s headed our way. We’re under severe thunderstorm warnings until about 3 a.m., but even that’s better than the tornadoes, hail, and flooding that were north of us today. Thanks for asking!
I thought of you when I managed this image. For some reason, it just seemed like a “Tom photo” to me. I’m glad you like it.
The rains had come
to cool and soothe
the ashes & embers
of burnt out thoughts
her heart a blue iris, its
petals shredded by the wind,
too weak to stand, too proud
a strange blue cancer in
her yellow garden.
I’m not sure who Deb Fowler might be. I tried an online search, but I don’t think she’s a real estate agent in this country — although, why not? In any event, the poem’s lovely and poignant, whether it’s hers, or yours.
How have I never heard of William Stafford? The poem you quoted resonates with me.
You may recognize one of his more well-known poems, that’s often quoted in part and without attribution: “A Ritual to Read to Each Other.” There’s a lot about his work that makes him unfashionable now, I suppose, but he’s one of my favorites.
No, I don’t recall ever having read that poem.
A wonderful poem and relates well to “Message in a Bottle”.
Although not wild, our iris bed below the kitchen window is “unfolding from the earth”.
The poem was a happy discovery, for sure. Each time I read it, I like it more. Our wild irises have mostly come and gone, but there still will be some around if it stays wet enough. They do enjoy having their feet wet!
“you carry day out of the dark like a flame.” I love that imagery.
Isn’t it wonderful? Every day, the light rekindles, like a fire that’s been smoored by a loving hand. Your comment sent me off to find the volume of Celtic invocations a friend sent me years ago. Here’s part of the blessing of the kindling:
“I will kindle my fire this morning
in presence of the holy angels of heaven,
in presence of Ariel of the loveliest form,
in presence of Uriel of the myriad charms,
without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
without fear, without terror of any one under the sun,
but the Holy Son of God to shield me.”
“God, kindle Thou in my heart within
a flame of love to my neighbour,
to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all,
to the brave, to the knave, to the thrall,
O Son of the loweliest Mary,
from the lowliest thing that liveth,
to the Name that is highest of all.”
Iris are an ephemeral bunch, bursting forth in a blaze of glory, and then returning to their roots/bulb (for another long sleep), but in their moment they proudly shed their light, bringing beauty into the world. I can say this with a certain amount of authority, Linda, since ours are blooming now. I go out each day and tell them how gorgeous they are. –Curt
Good for you! Every flower likes a word of appreciation. They surely murmur to one another (“Looking lovely today, my dear”) but hearing from a human’s special. I don’t remember seeing your iris in any photos from around your place. I may have missed them. For some reason, it surprises me that they grow there, but of course my understanding of that whole NW section of the country is still minimal, and not at all grounded in any experience!
I don’t know this poem. It’s beautiful. And you couldn’t have chosen a better image for its illustration.
It’s a good poem for spring, isn’t it? Light and delicate as a flower, and yet steady and somehow reassuring. The simplicity is refreshing; I think it’s one of his nicest poems.
Magnificently beautiful on every way- the color and the composition and the beauty of the flower.
I think our native irises equal the garden irises in every way. Because they’re not quite so frilly and fancy, it’s easier to photograph their details — at least, for me.
I’m so glad you like it, and I’m glad to see you stopping by. It looks like the commenting problem has been solved, and that’s a good thing. Those cyber-frustrations can be wearing.
Thank you, Dina! The more beauty, the better, says me.
Linda, this would make a great subject for watercolor! If you have some paints you could try it, starting with drawing it, (note that the top petal has a curl that looks almost like a C) — then wet the ‘back’ petal with water, drop in a very light blue-violet (it doesn’t have to be perfect) almost nothing except water…. not too wet, then while it’s still wet drop in the yellow, not so watery and watch it spread.. if it spreads too much just think that it’s a glitch of nature, like that extra leaf under the sunflower… while that is drying do the upper petal to the right of the curl — you are working light to dark.. then before the first leaf is completely dry, mix thicker paint for the darker details – it will bleed just a little, which is nice.. if not, stop and wait til its dry, then go back later and wet the petal a little and paint those lines…
you’re probably thinking, ‘I would rather be outside photographing items of interest while interacting with amazing people!’
Did this make me laugh? Of course it did. Your ability to ease right into the middle of the painting process amazes me: first this, then that, and at last the glowing flower!
Of course I don’t have any paints, or paper — although I do have water. That’s a start, I suppose. But I think I’ll enjoy your artistry with paints and brushes, and let that be good enough. I have enough to keep me occupied just trying to learn how to use the camera and typewriter. If I added painting to the mix, I’d have to give up housekeeping entirely.
But I loved your comment — I always enjoy these little peeks into your process!
Just the thought of you laughing was worth the mental exercise – in fact, ‘it’ has been stated that if one thinks about exercising/playing the piano, etc, that the body responds as if one has actually done it.. so maybe you just had your second watercolor class!
i studied the flower again at home and looked forward to working on a study for you.. i tried to save the image while off line and it did not work, and then the computer – with about 40 pages open, crashed (imagine that!) and the images did not load when booted back up.. drats. i DO look forward to painting that study!
my visa renewal will be in a few more weeks, and if all goes well perhaps we can plan on me visiting for a week (?) if there are five or six – (up to ten) people interested in a watercolor 101.. we could do plants/flowers/birds after the first day of basic drawing/lights-darks/washes… let’s put that on the back burner?
i’ve been off line and have no idea what’s happened in the world since i was last on.. hope all’s ok up there – one never knows!
Well, one thing that’s happened here is that we had an earthquake in Texas this morning. Granted, it wasn’t much — only a 3.1 — but it was centered right in the territory I was traveling when I went wildflower looking. It’s what some call a dish-rattler.
The rivers are up, of course. The Brazos is in flood, and the Mississippi is rolling right along. The midwestern flooding has been bad, but a friend in Kansas said their farm fields are beginning to drain at last. We have a sunny week ahead of us, and I’m glad to be back at work. I thought about working while it was raining, but believe me — the actual experience affected my body far more than my thoughts!
I hope all goes well with the visa renewal. I need to renew my passport. I’m not planning on international travel, but you never know, and the last I heard it was taking about six weeks to complete the process.
Otherwise? The snakes are out in force (I stepped on one last Sunday and found two in the parking lot at the marina yesterday), the alligators are bellowing for mates, I landed in a ditch thanks to an erratic driver (no damage to me, and only cosmetic damage to the already-repaired car), and I found a mama moorhen with seven darling babies down at the refuge. There will be photos!
you stepped on a snake? wow! I’m smiling -must not have been a nasty-tempered pit-viper, thank goodness. Seeing snakes helps me to remember there are bad ones in the area and to keep my guard up. You landed in a ditch as well?! Did you wonder, ‘things happen in threes – so what’s the next? — last week I burned myself with a pot of brewed hibiscus blossoms, and the next day I stumped my toe – yowch for both. I definitely wondered if a third ‘yowch’ was pending.. so far ok…
seven darkling babies – sounds like a line to a poem! i look forward to seeing the photos!
Well, I think I met #3 — going over a local bridge that’s part of an enormous highway widening project, a truck threw up some rocks and cracked my windshield. I’m going to call that #3, anyway, and say “No más!“
Exactly! Even if we’re not superstitious, it’s always good to get that #3 out of the way… So sorry about the cracked windshield.. never fun.