Wednesday, July 15, 2015


One of the very special presents I got for my birthday was a book by my favorite poet, Gary Snyder. It is particularly dear because the "centerpiece" poem is an expression of grief over the death of his wife Carole Koda, who died in 2006.  The poem is titled, "Go Now."  It brought me back to the grief when Howard died, when I knew there was no other choice for him to "go" and also for me to "go" on...and death from a slow disease isn't "pretty."  The "go now" in the poem advises the reader not to read it and turn back from the dark topic.  It is a sad poem.  

Of course, the book is very "Zen," and it is always good to be in the present moment....while still reflecting, as Gary says, 

"This present moment 
that lives on

to become

long ago."

The book cover is a woodblock print by Tom Killion and the back is a photo of Gary Snyder.  I didn't think I would be able to do either justice and remembered a cast bell I used to have that I called my "Gary Snyder bell."  This little painting is that kind of bell.  I have peaceful memories from when Gary Snyder was my neighbor in Mill Valley, and (as I recall) gave me that bell...and of the times, over the years, that I hung the bell in my kitchen.

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