Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Orange Tiger Lillies

By: Kyle Elden

“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive”
~ ee cummings

“People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive”
~ Joseph Campbell

Alongside rotting wood railroad ties
stacked to enclose this garden,
with mostly unruly weeds,
these orange tiger lilies
come every year,
abundant and daring
and continue to open,
as if to say to the world
yes, yes
I am alive.

Unashamed of any longing
or desire,
they ask for what they need
and graciously receive –
sunlight funnels deep into their hearts
and roots reach deep into the dirt,
and oh so dirty,
they call forth water
rising up through their succulent green little stems.

And I tell you they are aglow
as I walk by today, unhurried and aware
happiness heaves into my body,
kneading my spirit like bread dough
it begins to rise, and something,
a great love for life resounds –
my breath a song of praise
rhythmically flowing in and out.

Later, I can only smile
as I cut a russet potato
cooked in olive oil with a dash
of salt and pepper, smile
as I crack eggs and adore
the yellow yokes, smile
as I eat this food in solitude
and look out at the lake
filled with moon light,
and city lights,
and ships with shining lights
and know
this is what it is
to be alive.

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