“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue

23 July 2013: Charles River Summer Storm


I have only two emotions:
Careful fear and dead devotion.
~Carin Besser

Ripe with the fruitlessness of effort,
I watch
a hazy-bellied ant
face a lake of raindrops.

Six times she gives
her entire lifeforce
to the intention.

Six times she skitters
back and forth
at the water’s edge,

Six times she sets out,
limbs, invisible
from the omniscience
of my park bench,
attenuated with purpose.

Six times her microscopic head
strains with terrified defiance,
then resigns
to the asphalt shore.

I despise this metaphor--
the fall down three times, get up four,
root down in the hurricane,
suffer now, live later
story of salvation.

I want to build her a boat
with what I have at hand,
a nibbled-edge oak leaf.

It will seem to her, I imagine,
infinite dry land
for a moment--
because that’s all she really needs
this time,
until next time.

So I offer her fragile deliverance
as the ominous shimmer
of a rain line charges
toward us across
the river’s surface.

Of course I see it coming.

But I'm certain
it’s aiming for some other