the small memories where people live

October 23, 2014

we were reading aloud…
Wendell Berry instructing us on how to be poets
in which he advises:
“stay away from screens”
to which all of us adult children and spouses nod;
feeling so sure of ourselves and think:
yes this is good advice for the poet;
media consumes and destroys,
overwhelms imagination, steals time.
when Mom says quietly:
but screens can be very good
keeping out pests and saving children from malaria.
its a rare and pleasant thing to sit on a veranda
wrapped safely in screens looking out onto the wild savanna
and relax into the soft breeze of the evening
with the provided protection.

and so the word screen constructed itself between the generations,
we sliced it open and hugged through it
crawling freely back and forth without difficulty.
knowing that Mom was right and obscured nothing
and if she was not a poet, certainly her life was a poem.


5 Responses to “the small memories where people live”

  1. reswannb Says:

    I love this story. And the way you wrote it.

  2. Cheryl Says:

    So beautiful.

  3. Lindsey Says:

    I like everything about this, from the introduction to a new Berry poem to the reconstruction of a true memory to the images of hugging and crawling through the word screen. (And now I want to be a fly on the wall while you chat with Wendell Berry.)

  4. Bareknuckle Says:

    I love WB….and I’ve read the advice on poetry as well. It makes for a rich experience reading your blog, Shawn. Many thanks!

  5. Gail Brown Says:

    She was a special lady and your way of telling this story is good.

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