Get Up and See!

Today is my birthday!

Normally, I spend the days leading up to my very own day contemplating the past months and making plans for the the days ahead.  My “New Year’s resolutions” begin October 2, not January 1. Not so this year. The last couple of weeks have been filled with anxiety, noise, and internal clutter, and I haven’t been able to grasp the calm I need to get the internal work done. It did not help to wake up in the wee morning hours to the horrible news of an attack in Vegas.

But I am grateful. To be alive (I’m familiar with the alternative). To be well (for the most part). To be accepted. To be showered with love (and brownies, every now and then). For the many, many good people and experiences my many days have brought to me.

Exactly five years ago one of these good people–at that time a new friend–gave me a beautiful card for my birthday. Because it “lives” on my desk, I see it frequently, but today I took a moment to appreciate it again.

“Rita Dove,” detail of The Furious Flower Portrait Quilt, 2004. Mixed media collage on canvas. Artist: Malaika Favorite

The portrait of U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-95) Rita Dove is part of a 24-poet/panel masterpiece by mixed media artist Malaika Favorite which honors the history of African American poetry. The work was commissioned for Furious Flower, a conference held every decade (since 1994), that celebrates, stimulates, and encourages African American poetry and poetic voices.

Dove’s poem, “Dawn Revisited,” from her collection On the Bus with Rosa Parks, is printed on the back of the card.

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading

glorious shade. If you don’t look back,

 the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits –
eggs and sausage on the grill.

The whole sky is yours

 to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.
The poem is the swift kick in the butt I need to “shake a leg” and get things done!  Please excuse me while I get up and see…
Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. Dmcpat

     /  October 2, 2017

    Bravo!

    Reply
  2. Hope you had a glorious Birthday Chandra. Don’t let the sad, sad news keep you from celebrating YOUR life. It validates the importance of US ALL. Blessings to you Birthday Girl 🙂

    Reply
  3. Happy birthday!

    Reply
  4. Wishing you fantastic birthday Chandra.🍰🎂🌌🎉

    Reply
  5. Wish you a very happy birthday! Have lots of cakes too!

    Reply
  6. Many happy (and happier than today) returns … Your day shall not be spoilt by a madman (he can only have been mad, can’t he?). I am glad that YOU were born and I am glad that you can celebrate this day and hopefully many more to come. Enjoy the good things today, the bad news can wait for tomorrow!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Dear! These first days of October have tried everything in me! I’m hanging on by a thread, but I’m still here. 🙂 Thank you for the kind birthday greeting!

      Reply
  7. Have a lovely Birthday ! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Happy birthday!!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Happy Birthday!
    A friend of mine introduced me to Rita Dove’s work. She told me “If she was white and had a beard everyone would know her name, but because she isn’t and doesn’t we get to keep the secret. ” I love this collection, though I must admit my favorite is Rosa.

    Reply
    • I have to check my millions of books (slight exaggeration) to see if I have this one. It’s is certainly something to consider for a course I’m teaching next semester. Thanks for the birthday greeting!

      Reply
  10. Belated birthday wishes. That poem is beautiful.

    Reply

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