“The Portuguese call it saudade: a longing for something so indefinite as to be indefinable. Love affairs, miseries of life, the way things were, people already dead, those who left and the ocean that tossed them on the shores of a different land—all things born of the soul that can only be felt.” ~ Anthony De Sa

Five Layers of Movement (Oregon Coast), by Russell Tomlin (used with permission)

The house of saudade calls memory: it’s a small cabin in the corner of a heart.” ~ Henrique M. Coehlo Neto

I have been saving the title quote by Anthony de Sa for weeks now, wanting to write the perfect post to accompany it. Finally I realized that the quote is a microcosm: It needs no other words to illuminate it; it needs none of my musings to explicate it further. Saudade is the exact word for my life.

(And yes, I’ll admit it. I have been on a Joyce Carol Oates kick for a bit now.)     

More later. Peace.

Music by Ólafur Arnalds, “Erla’s Walz”



I Saw A Woman Walking Into A Plate Glass Window

I saw a woman walking into a plate glass window
as if walking into the sky.

I saw her death striding forward to meet her,
shadowed in flawless glass.

Dogwood blossoms drew her, a lilac-drugged air,
it was beauty’s old facade,
blind: the transparency
that, touched, turns opaque.

The frieze into which she stepped buckled in anger
and dissolved in puzzle parts about her head.

               *          *          *

I saw a woman walking into sunshine confident and composed
and tranquil to the last.

I saw a woman walking into something that had seemed nothing.
As we commonly tell ourselves.

The trick to beauty is its being unassimilable,
a galaxy of glittering reflections,
each puzzle part in place.
Not this raining of glass and blood
about the amazed head.

The unfathomable depths into which she stepped became
the merest surface,
Pain and noise.

               *          *          *

I saw a woman walking into her broken body
as if she were a bride.

I saw her soul struck to the ground because mere space
could not bear it aloft.

I saw how the window at last framed only what was there,
beyond the frame,
that could not fall.

My throat filled with blood:
you would not have believed how swiftly.