I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me in this poetry series called “These Lines.” I am still reading The Carrying by Ada Limon, so lines from her poems made it to this series again.
I hate the world, the pain of it that circles in us,
that makes us want to be the moon,
the treasure, and not the thing on the sea
from “The Dead Boy” by Ada Limon
I have found myself hating the world and its pain. I love how Ada includes everyone in this “want[ing] to be the moon” with her use of “us.” I have also wondered what it would be like to be something nonhuman: a flower, a river, a bird.
I was standing in front of an arrangement of roses with my uncle. We’d been in the dining room when I asked him if he had a simple piece of advice for me to find inner peace. When we stood in front of these flowers, he started telling me something important about the reason flowers need watering. But I did not let him finish his train of thought because I started crying.
To give you some context, I hadn’t seen my uncle in more than five years (since the last time I visited Mexico. I was a teenager then.). In his interactions with me and our family, his presence emitted, what I’ll call, a spiritual grandeur. In the words of Ada Limon, “I env[ied], I env[ied] that.” I wanted his spiritual grandeur, so I braved myself and asked him for spiritual advice.
I am in awe of airplanes. I went to my city’s airport twice this year before it was my turn to get on a plane to travel. I was left with this craving to watch planes land and take off as I saw them, then, through morning gold light and tall window panes. I still crave that image despite my recent trip to Mexico.
This post isn’t about Mexico’s food or its landmarks. It’s about a wisdom I bring back from there. (I brought back wisdom to munch on for the rest of the year.) What I want to talk about is the feeling of adventure. (For context, you should know, that I was visiting family.) And even though I wasn’t a tourist, I still felt this sense of adventure.
I’ve been more and more curious about other people’s lives. Of what it means to be a school cook, a flight attendant, a jewelry store salesperson. How does the world look through their eyes?
I’ve also been reading too much academic writing, and even though I’m learning (l love learning), there’s nothing beautiful to this type of writing (I’m sure that there are exceptions to this). When I think about my reading preferences, the reason why I am an avid reader is because I was able to make a home out of the books I read.
To make a home you need emotions, but after I read a chapter from an academic textbook, I feel like the authors only showed up to hand me the materials for me to build a home and to leave me to my own devices.
Going back to this curiosity of wanting to experience life through someone else’s point of view makes me think of my love of reading.This might be the reason why I love reading memoirs and diaries. I love how writers can share the grandest truths through the simplest and sometimes, too, the humblest experiences. When taking out the trash, an uneventful Tuesday, or a stranger become the foundations of an epiphany.