Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Lotus in the snow

I just finished a good and very personal memoir. What is it about being so completely honest that it changes everything? I have read so many words that speak only around the edges. But it is the stuff that breaks beyond that, that goes further, palms open... that is the stuff that matters. It is more than admitting pain; it is also about admitting beauty, love, confusion, loneliness, passion. It is the stuff that we do our best to keep our eyes, our ears, our minds, our bodies, all our senses closed to. We create distances and then are surprised by the loneliness.

I am thinking of the lotus flowers that I used to (and sometimes still do) draw at the end of letters written to friends or family. It is a drawing of curves and lines. Inside it is half empty, the stem swirling out from underneath itself, surrounded by the blankness of paper, and further beyond that, words; words written but barely touching the surface. Anything more: held fully in a simple drawing of a lotus flower. An act of faith to give words life fragile as five petals. Daring to be simple, direct, and honest. Daring to be humble, vulnerable, and a little bit more alive.

A lotus blossoms even in the coldest of winters. Even in incongruity. The landscape of language takes on strange forms. We try so hard to protect.


Anonymous said...

Is that the name of the book?

Jessie said...

Nope. But maybe it should be. I'll let you know when I actually write it. :)-
But the memoir that I was referring to in the beginning of the entry is The Great Failure by Natalie Goldberg. I've always loved her work. But that one was different than her other stuff. If your not familiar with her you should check her out. She's a zen buddhist who writes about writing and painting. She keeps me inspired.