Tuesday, January 1, 2013

ON THE 23RD ANNIVERSARY OF MOVING TO L.A.




Twenty-three years ago, on New Year's Day, I arrived in Los Angeles with my then-husband Tim and our cat, Blanche.

Blanchie died.
Tim's back East.
Happy New Year.

SOLOING

My mother tells me she dreamed
of John Coltrane, a young Trane
playing his music with such joy
and contained energy and rage
she could not hold back her tears.
And sitting awake now, her hands
crossed in her lap, the tears start
in her blind eyes. The TV set
behind her is gray, expressionless.
It is late, the neighbors quiet,
even the city—Los Angeles—quiet.
I have driven for hours down 99,
over the Grapevine into heaven
to be here. I place my left hand
on her shoulder, and she smiles.
What a world, a mother and son
finding solace in California
just where we were told it would
be, among the palm trees and all-night
super markets pushing orange
back-lighted oranges at 2 A.M.
“He was alone,” she says, and does
not say, just as I am, “soloing.”
What a world, a great man half
her age comes to my mother
in sleep to give her the gift
of song, which—shaking the tears
away—she passes on to me, for now
I can hear the music of the world
in the silence and that word:
soloing. What a world—when I
arrived the great bowl of mountains
was hidden in a cloud of exhaust,
the sea spread out like a carpet
of oil, the roses I had brought
from Fresno browned on the seat
beside me, and I could have
turned back and lost the music.

--Philip Levine


FAREWELL 2012...
and let us greet the dawn of 2013!


6 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Heather -- and I did some quick math, and holy mackerel, was 1990 really 23 years ago?

    Thanks (to you and to your reader) for the Philip Levine poem. I sometimes wish I could write more like him.

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  2. Happy New Year Heather.

    I just read your meditation in this month's Magnificat for the Conversion of St. Paul.

    Thanks for your good writing and sharing your spiritual insights.

    Best wishes for 2013.

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  3. What beautiful photographs! - such a magnificent sky!

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  4. Dear Heather,
    I'm a day late (and I'm never much into the new year thing) so I will wish you a blessed feast day of our Lady Mary, Mother of God.

    Looking forward to all you share with us in your 24th year in LA.

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  5. Hey Heather, I just wanted to thank you. For being you.

    From,
    Another Heather

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  6. I would like to echo Mr Nelson's praise of your meditation for the Conversion of St Paul (it was really quite beautiful), and to echo Another Heather's gratitude for the fact that you are you!

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I WELCOME your comments!!!