Wednesday, April 8, 2009

manifest true?

the parental impulse

I honor that deep impulse within
which drives the parent
to have the child
to love the child

to raise the child:
to care,
to subordinate so much of the rest of his and her life
to the primacy of what is best for the child,
to set conditions for behavior
and no conditions for love,

I think we humans can be at our best as parents
when we live in the moment with the child,
and at the same time see the futures
inherent within the choices of the moment
and act with some wild blend
of intuition & logic & guess, & love,

and the child makes her way,
and the child finds his voice,

I honor that impulse within me
and I celebrate each parent who finds the way
to give so that the world can receive
the priceless gift of a new person,

and God works hard to manifest true.

by Henry Walker
April 6, ‘09

within & beyond the moment

almost a third of her life has built itself
in the over 3 months since we were last together,
she sits erect, ramrod straight,
her eyes tracking the eyes of every face around her
and finding anything, anyone, new in her environment,
her expression thoughtful, though touching on guarded,
her face has lengthened from the round,
her smile even more ready to light up her face,
and just beneath the joy a growl lurks,
when her parents are out of the room
and she can feel lost,

she tells us of her needs with an almost fuss
that easily ramps up into fuss,
we work to tease out the meaning behind the energetic tones,

she’s at an age where she explores pitch and sounds
without any sure correlation of which thought to which sound to which effect,
except in that “fussing” will call up a parent,
and a parent can guess and fix it,
or anchor her,
or find a trick that grabs her,

forty more months of experience and effort
and her sister knows the power and use of word after word,
sophistication of thought and feeling
and their connections to sounds in packets and strings:
letters, numbers, people--all a great big fascinating puzzle
which she understands and acts upon more and more,
relationships within and between a way to excel,

the younger sister just as equal to her tasks
except at a far earlier stage in the figuring,
I love Isabel’s eyes on anything new,
like an owl seeing prey move into her world,
she fusses and I move her close to a toy in front of her,
and I think I got it right,
that her desire was further along than her pounce,

she’s basically content within herself--
dedicated to the proposition that that which is without
should come within her for processing,
you can almost see behind her eyes
all the sights & sounds & touches, smells & tastes,
all her thoughts & feelings as they whirl around each other
and start to fit into meanings,

it reminds me of a lesson I learned hard,
that before you go cross-country up a mountain
make sure you know just where you are
before you start forward,
Isabel is studying the lay of the land
and just venturing her first moves,

her sister Rachel is well on her way up
and she savors how much she gets it,
and when she doesn’t get it
she feels the burn when her will must be thwarted,
she’s working hard and well,
and furiously figures all the in’s & out’s,
the why’s & the wherefore’s,

they each prime themselves to enjoy each step of the climb
and all the possibilities of how and where they can go
within and beyond how full each moment can be.

by Henry Walker
April 5, ‘09

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