art by Arlene Kim Suda

pay attention...

pay attention…

week 1: guest

Posted on January 8, 2012 by aks

Lady, you have filled these exile days of mine
With sweetness, made a foreign traveler your own
As easily as these unfamiliar stars, quietly,
Coolly smiling from heaven, have likewise given me
Welcome. When I stood at this window and stared
At the southern sky, a message seemed to slide
Into my soul from the harmony of the stars,
A solemn music that said, ‘We know you are ours-
Guest of our light from the day you passed
From darkness into the world, always our guest.’

Lady, your kindness is a star, the same solemn tune
In your glance seems to say, ‘I know you are mine.’
I do not know your language, but I hear your melody:
‘Poet, guest of my love, my guest eternally.

– Rabindranath Tagore


One reason this poem affects me so much is that it captures the idea that we all are guests of the world. I don’t think it is common that we acknowledge the world as our host and when you think about it that way, isn’t it natural to question whether we are being good guests during our stay?

And, just as the world hosts us, it is we who are the hosts of poetry – whether a poem, music, art, a sport or even a way of living. Poetry comes from a love of the things we care about — it speaks through us and as our guest, it needs to be treated with care in order to thrive.


Guest (after Franklin Gothic), acrylic on paper, 7 x 10-1/4 inches

 


Guest 1, pen on paper, 12 x 9 inches

 


Guest 2, watercolor & acrylic on paper, 10-1/4 x 7 inches