Tag Archives: Yusef Komunyakaa

Epiphany

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It came to me in the middle of the night. I couldn’t sleep, stumbling over virtual roadblocks in my mind as I pondered what my next blog might be, alert for the “just right name” for my next book about Oregon’s children, should such a name (all lit up in neon, shining out of the murk) miraculously appear. I had just blogged about being lost. I had quoted the poet Yusef Komunyakaa writing about this miracle—when all seemed lost:
“I knew life
Began where I stood in the dark,
Looking out into the light.”
I remembered another time when I went seeking an answer. It was twilight in Oregon’s back-country where I had almost lost myself, when up ahead, standing in a shaft of last light, stood a magnificent elk, and his name was —Epiphany!
What a pretty name for my new novel; the very idea of such a portal, such a magic door thrills me! This flash of insight, manifests the theme upon which I will hang my story!
I invite you to join me on this journey, join me as, chapter by chapter, I follow my fairy tale to a dead end; agonize and laugh through my emancipation from a dream turned nightmare. Such is the way of an epiphany—like stages of a rocket, what is useless falls away, and we blast forward into the light…but there is that “in between time” when we all must endure being lost in the darkness of night.
So, let’s begin. I’ll start with a poem I dreamed up just now. Please make up your own verse!
Like a glim in foggy-bottom bogs
Like a light thru crystalline
Like fire sparked by ember logs
Like a vine sprung from a bean
Like poppies cover’n killing fields
Ah sweet epiphany
That darkness, lies, wrong-doing yields
When spirit shines through me
Come spirit shine through me.
 


 

Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,
recently released in all e-book stores.

cover of The Way Back       
New novel: The Way Back. To find it on Amazon, go to http://bit.ly/SoldiersJourney

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Where Hope Lives

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When I think of a portal, I imagine a magic door to pass through leading to new life beginning  for a changed person.  My example is the recent movie,”The Dallas Buyers Club,” the grimy gutsy tale of a Lone Star, bull riding, hard-living tough who emerges a super hero when faced with a death sentence. He never gave up hope and  seized life for himself and others.
The poet Yusef Komunyakaa  wrote about this miracle—when all seemed lost:
“I knew life
Began where I stood in the dark,
Looking out into the light.”
As we bungle our way through life, showing-up, perhaps making sense of our journey by looking back at what worked in the past,  old tactics can become useless with changing circumstance, and inevitably,  trying to do something, we  fail or fall, and there seems no way to follow our dreams. The ancients say that should you fall down seven times, you must rise up again 8 times. Edison tried repeatedly to create a light bulb, finding 10,000 ways that didn’t work—until one did. Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never give up.” Hope.
Philosophers, poets, and common folks recognize this “tune without words” that sings the way in our darkest hour, this eternal flame, this Fiddler on the Roof as hope. And holding tight to our dreams, we are builders of eternity.
Light  sparkles from a charismatic mind! Have you seen hope shining in the eyes of a wounded warrior determined to walk again; Have you laughed with the delight bubbling up in the giggles of a tickled child; do you cheer spirit when the winning horse, ablaze with desire, opens up in the stretch. Do you dance-on to the tune of life played by the “fiddler on the roof.” Can you hear that music?
Shell Silverstein says this about hope:
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.”
Look to the animals to image hope. The sniffer dog, hoping to please, uses his sense of smell 100,000 times more keen then the human nose, to sniff out weapons, drugs, even early stage cancer, his body quivering with the excitement that comes with partnering with his human god. The dog may sense danger, his job being to communicate that, even though he is himself in harms way. Some say it is because he does not understand, but I think it is because the dog is selfless in love, and filled with hope.
If we shed what weighs us down—regret, grief, fear, despair, or nostalgia, we make room for the angel of hope, as Emily Dickinson describes her:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all —”

 The Olympic torch is carried aflame before the games begin, and this fire of hope burns brightest within the heart of each athlete. Some will not win medals, but entering the arena is already a win, for it is in this space that hope lives.

 Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back,
recently released in all e-book stores.
cover of The Way Back
New novel: The Way Back. To find it on Amazon, go to http://bit.ly/SoldiersJourney

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