Monday, March 10, 2014

Ribbon in the Wind

As my blog title, Through the Wind Winding, suggests, I see my life akin to a ribbon on the wind. A red ribbon, in a steady gust, over a gray-white day. The past two weeks felt like a gale: first, there was the flu; then there were student council elections (I am honored to serve as president and represent 8,000 graduate students in Chicago); a conference paper deadline; and then, the coldest gust blew out the life of a dear old man. This man, who grew Christmas trees and was the local expert on evergreens, whose smile and hugs were constants throughout my childhood, whose encouragement got my Dad involved in volunteer and religious work in our town, was struck with a heart attack while driving his truck.

The winds are precarious. How we respond in their gusts helps shape who we are. Yet from within the gusts, who we are seems immaterial. A red ribbon in the wind is whatever the wind makes it. Only surviving the moment matters.

From certain vantages, surviving the moment can seem like flying.

Who we are.
Who are we?

Somehow they are

equally ignorant and
wise. Paradoxically
blossoming – distilled;
Stone-firm, absorbing
glance at a rose,
dream-pinch of thorn.

But there she is, the
same vase
with the light wrapping
around like a mood ring
chariot of the sun, the moon.
on the windowsill,
the slices of moments:
Slants and slight winds,
Waters and drouts.
Chants and cantrefs,
Skips and shouts.

These are seasons
sweet stolen moments
heavy with waiting,
the in-between.

Image by scottsnyde at


Veronica Stewart said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your Evergreen Man reminds me of our local plant nursery lady. She ran her greenhouse until she died in her late 80s or maybe early 90s. If you had a question about anything, she had an answer or if not, she'd look it up. We miss her terribly.

Sweeper of Dreams said...

Aw, thank you, Veronica! And what community would exist without characters? We're lucky to know 'em.