14 April 2014

Nothing to Say

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it, and that is poetry."
 John Cage

The pivotal transgression-
to stifle the stories
that are only mine to tell
in some fear that I have
nothing to say.
Say it anyway. Open
my mouth, open
my heart and speak.
"Sometimes
a person needs stories
more than food
to stay alive."*
Imagine,
to live.

* Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez.

The full quote is gorgeous: "Remember on this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other's memories. This is how people care for themselves."
I was again reminded of this truth today when Fireblossom of Shay's Word Garden posted a stunning poem telling a deep part of women's story. It was a case of me not knowing I needed a story until I read it. And it fed my soul.
Time to give up the myth of nothing to say- offered for Open Link Monday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads hosted by grapeling who graciously shared the opening quote to this post.

26 comments:

  1. "Time to give up the myth of nothing to say"

    What a precious sentiment!!!!

    Guess I do this, every day, in Pretty Blog Land. What I write/post is not Poetry or Lovely Fiction. But it is words, which I seem, to "need" to say. So, to "say" them, is good. :-)

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  2. Yo make a very valid point, Mary. Every day has its own story, and we should speak our stories rather than stifle them.

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  3. oh i so agree on story....stories connect us and keep us going
    and nourish us in many ways...

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    1. It's good to be encouraged to do this simple, vital thing.

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  4. People tease me about having a story for every occasion, but that's what happens after a long and complicated life.
    I really needed to read this today, Mary, just as you needed to read Shay's poem. We never know when our words are needed to touch someone's heart.
    K

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    1. I like that - the value of long and complicated lives!

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  5. Break the ice and state it, and state it well. It's there then for posterity. It's one's loss otherwise. If one is to read one's own old poem (say a 2 year old poem) it may just seem like someone else's poem. Sets me thinking! If I did not write it before it would have been my loss. Just write, that's my stand and the numbers built up! Great thoughts Mary!

    Hank

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    1. I've done that as well, read something from the past and wondered if I really wrote it. Thanks for your comment.

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  6. Yes! I'm saying it anyway, too.

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    1. You are gifted in how you say it, MZ. Thanks.

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  7. This is what I too needed to hear/read. Thank you for your sharing your poem, your view~ Wonderful!

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  8. 'Say it anyway.'.. that is very peaceful and if it connects with someone that's an added bonus...wondeful lines..

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  10. There is so much truth in this. Thanks for penning these words.

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    1. A pleasure, Sally. Thanks for coming by.

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  11. oh, I wasn't hosting! just the first posting :) please give credit where due :)

    reminds me of that Erasmus quote, about when he had a little money, he'd buy books - and if there was any left over, he'd buy food.

    well penned ~

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  12. I love this. Augie famously told his sister, "Vi, you can't live on rainbows; that's why I'm making bread." (Famous in our family, because we revisit this statement often, from various perspectives.) I copied the quote because I think her rainbows equate to stories. Food for more discussion....

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    1. They would love that book. It's such a good story. Thanks for Augie's quote, it's priceless.

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  13. I guess sometimes there is a story in silence (Cage). But I agree that at times we need a story even when we don't realize it.

    I remember listening to my father's sermons, which I didn't find all that interesting ... until he told a story, then everything perked up.

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    1. My husband teaches presentation skills and he describes the same thing- we pay more attention to stories.

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