Find us on Facebook

Find Willie Weir’s speaking information

Find Kat Marriner’s design portfolio

Kat Marriner : August 19th, 2009

On any given day

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t walk somewhere in our neighborhood. Walk to the grocery store. Walk to the library. Walk to light rail. Walk to a friend’s house. Walk to take a walk. And hardly a walk goes by that I don’t run in to someone and have a conversation … almost so much so that sometimes I walk off the beaten path to get lost in my own thoughts.

The other day was such a day that I wanted nothing more than to walk in my own space and soak in atmosphere. The dry summer heat had turned to cloud cover for a day or two, and as much as I am a sun seeker, the ch’i in the air was refreshing my body and soul.

So I walked to the Red Apple to pick up some wine for dinner and took a right instead of a left when I walked out of the parking lot. I was ready to wonder and my feet took me West towards the view overlook park. Student drivers cautiously gave me plenty of room as we both rounded the bend in the road where the sidewalk ends before the park begins. The park is usually a solitary place especially mid-morning on a weekday, but there in my favorite spot to sit and breathe in the city was a man and his bicycle. A twinge of disappointment darted into my heart.

As I approached, the man turned and smiled a genuine smile. We exchanged hellos before he said, Do you want to hear a poem? Yes. I answered matter-of-factly.

I stood beside the bench looking out across the city, Elliott Bay and beyond to the Olympics touched with mist.  Heavy sculpted clouds filled the sky, he read:

This is not a day for asking questions,
not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
more manifest than saying can say.

The longer he read the more my heart filled with the ache of words mixing freely with the beauty before me. Swelling with love for this place, I listened to these words by mystic poet Rumi.

Spring, and everything outside is growing
even the tall cypress tree.
We must not leave this place.
Around the lip of the cup we share, these words,

My Life Is Not Mine
If someone were to play music, it would have to be very sweet.
We’re drinking wine, but not through lips.
We’re sleeping it off, but not in bed.
Rub the cup across your forehead.
This day is outside living and dying.

Give up wanting what other people have.
That way you’re safe.
“Where, where can I be safe?” you ask.

This is not a day for asking questions,
not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
more manifest than saying can say.

Thoughts take form with words,
but this daylight is beyond and before
thinking and imagining. Those two,
they are so thirsty, but this gives smoothness
to water. Their mouths are dry, and they are tired.

By the time he finished, I released the deep breath with a somber, wow.  He laughed a nervous laugh of two people caught unsuspecting in an intimate moment. He said he felt the same way.

I never know what will happen on a walk, but I’m glad this happened. Thank you for reading the poem… I mustered hardly holding back tears.

Thank you for wanting to hear a poem, he simply said.

I smiled and walked away. Any more words between us would break a spell — this exquisite moment shared between strangers in a park on Beacon Hill. Magic can happen on any given day.


1 comment to On any given day

  • Nathan H

    This story is precious. I have enjoyed walking/riding/transit for a month now and am putting my car on CL tomorrow. The beauty from giving our lives the chance to be interwoven with others’ cannot be imagined, but only realized once experienced. Thanks for your inspiration and healthy appreciation for neighborly intimacy. People here in San Jose are befuddled and suspicious as to why I have chosen the sidewalk less traveled; I’m not.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>