Sunday, June 24, 2012

too much gravity

why is there so much gravity here?

today we hiked to stewart falls, a trail in provo canyon adjacent to sundance resort.  it's alpen, with a large grove of aspens

(purportedly the largest living organism on earth "For two dimensional area, the largest known clonal flowering plant, and indeed largest plant and organism, is a grove of male Aspen in Utah, nicknamed Pando (Populus tremuloides). The grove is connected by a single root system, and each stem above the ground is genetically identical. It is estimated to weigh approximately 6,000,000 kg,[6] and covers 0.43 km² (106 acres"),

stunning rocky peaks holding summer snow fields nestled in their declivities, meadows, diverse vistas at every turn, and of course the icy falls.

it's a hike of medium difficulty for  a kid, and on the inclines, moses kept saying "why is there so much gravity here?"  i knew, and i know, what he meant.  some things feel really hard even when they're beautiful and true.

moses loved the hike, but it was hard for him.  i love my life and recognize how lucky i am to have it, but it's still really hard for me at times.

lately there has definitely been too much gravity.  i don't know what's making it feel so hard when it really isn't.

christian got under the falls and came out with brain freeze.  i wasn't brave enough to go in.

on the way down the trail,

a butterfly landed on my arm and just stayed there.

does it mean something good?  is it a magical omen?

i hope so.

butterfly sat very still on my arm for about sixty seconds.

i kind of know what james wright says when he writes, "i have wasted my life."

when you sit and look at a butterfly, you might think, at least for a moment, that nothing else matters.

actually, i have no idea what james wright means.

but to me it means that when a butterfly lands on you, and you stop and wait for it to fly away, you might realize you had been working too hard at the wrong things, and instead should be effortlessly beautiful and still.

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,   
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.   
Down the ravine behind the empty house,   
The cowbells follow one another   
Into the distances of the afternoon.   
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,   
The droppings of last year’s horses   
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.   
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

p.s. right now we're watching glenn gould playing the bach brandenburg #5.  c. just said, "how could anyone listening to this believe there's not a god?"  i love his faith, and wish i could experience it for even one second.  i know what he means about the brandenburg #5, though.


  1. Nice. I just checked out a couple collections of Glenn Gould from the OPL this afternoon.

    Part of me wishes I didn't know what you mean about too much gravity and the horror-shocks of life a-wasted, and wishes you also didn't have to know, but maybe the blissed-outedness of not knowing(?) would rob us both of something we'd fight ugly for. I dunno.

    I think I'll go listen to my borrowed CDs and pray for a weightless dream.

    1. thanks, geo. your response touched me.

  2. My daughter and I call our house Gravity House. It started in the basement, when we (actually I was first) noticed that our basement seemed to have excessive gravity. I theorized it was closer to the center of the earth and that might have something to do with why it was so much harder to climb the basement stairs than the ones leading up to our bedrooms. But Olivia and I then started to think about everybody and all the things in our house and how much more gravity we seem to have here than exists in other homes and houses. Nobody steal this idea, please, but one of these days she and I are going to write a comic graphic novel called Gravity house, complete with Gravity Dad, Gravity Mom, Gravity Girl. I have often longed to be free of gravity, but I think, ironically, that that actually means getting as grave as people can get, if you know what I mean. I don't mind putting that off for a good long while.

    Gravity is one of the boundaries that define our lives. When we really are well and truly in the grave, I wonder what will take gravity's place. Lately, I wonder what kind of boundaries exist beyond our lives in this world. Like Christian, I believe there is something beyond, something familiar because it's a place where lost loves are restored. But I can't conceive of unbounded life, and indeed don't believe it exists, here or in eternity. Everything, as Jos. Smith said, is matter of some kind. What will be the heavenly equivalent of gravity? It's not like we die and become the equivalent of helium balloons, is it? Although, for a while anyway, that could be a kick.

    The Brandenburg concertos defy gravity by--you'll know if you ever played an instrument with any skill or considered one being played--dancing with it. Forward, back, push and pull, pound, lean, sway--all the fingers, strings, hammers, hands, keys, peddles, fingerboards, arms, torsos, the list goes on and on--but all in the most intricate complex of relationships that, on this planet, could not exist without gravity.

    As much as I sympathize with Moses--why IS there so much gravity here?--for now, I can live with it because it's how I live.

    1. gorgeous, dian. & you're so right--the brandenbergs DO defy gravity!!!!xxoo

  3. Love this post. Two thoughts: 1) I had a similar moment yesterday morning, while trying to get the dog into the car to go to the park. She was not ready to get in, and flopped onto her back on the grass. While she was lying there I noticed a mockingbird standing on top of the house, performing its repertoire of songs, and listened to it for several minutes until it flew away. The moment it stopped singing, Bea flipped back up onto her feat and jumped into the car. Hmmmm. 2) Your remarks on faith made me think of something I heard Christian Wiman say on a recent podcast, and wrote down to mull over: "I am convinced that the same god that might call me to sing of god at one time might call me at another to sing of godlessness. Sometimes when I think of all of this energy that's going on, all of these different people trying to find some way of naming and sharing their belief, I think it may be the case that god calls some people to unbelief in order that faith can take new forms." Hmmm, again.

  4. FEET! I meant "feet," not "feat." :)

  5. oh, tina, thank you so much for sharing that thought. you can't imagine how i needed to hear it. also, i love bea's priorities! xxoo.

  6. Enjoying your site so I'm nominating you for my Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you'll at least check it out because it's a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you're interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site ... ... Either way, hope you're having a great day!