New Year’s Day brought triumphant sunshine to Seattle. So, my wife, son, and I climbed the Great Mound in Gas Works Park, where I shot my Sundial series last summer. As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones seeking sun-soaked views across Lake Union to downtown. (All the empty bottles scattered around suggested it had been a great spot for New Year’s Eve revelers, too.) But of everyone gathered there, the person who stood out most was this guy who seemed at once to be saluting the sun and cleansing a heavy spirit. A lot of people were milling around, talking and laughing, but he stood silent and alone, bending back and forth like a metronome as the angular winter light washed over his face. A strange, but beautiful scene with which I can think of no better poem to introduce than Naomi Shihab Nye‘s “Burning the Old Year,” especially the last three stanzas. (You can find the whole poem here.)
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
11 thoughts on “After the Blazing”
Thanks for stopping by mine. I’m glad you enjoyed the posts, and thanks for the follow!
Thanks for visiting my blog and giving me a chance to see your collection. Looking it pictures and reading poems are two of my favorite things! Great work :)
Great juxtaposition, Chris! Really like the photograph.
I’m really glad you like. Best wishes for the new year to you!
There’s something eerily beautiful about the poem/photo combination. It will stay with me for a while. A splendid 2013 to you, Chris!
Thank you, Arjun. All the same to you!
Beautiful poem. Happy New Year!