In high school we had to identify a life-goal for our senior profile in the yearbook.  Most of my classmates gave a glib or silly answer, but I spoke with unyielding honesty.  I wanted to have a poem published in the New Yorker.

I write fairly awful poetry.  I’ve had three published as companion pieces, forty years ago in the long-defunct Eads Bridge.  They might be the only decent verses that I’ve ever written.  Still, I kept trying.  The flow of words captivates me.  They trickle over stones, spring waters running through my winter-weary mind.

I’ve memorized three or four poems in my life.  “Jenny Kissed Me”, by Leigh Hunt.  “Fire and Ice”,  by Robert Frost.  The last few lines of “And There Will Come Soft Rains”, by my favorite poet and fellow St. Louisan, Sara Teasdale.

And, “The Eagle”, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

At times in my life, I have also wanted to be a photographer.  I hold fewer illusions in that regard.  I do not claim to be adept at the technical aspects of camera-work.  I shoot on automatic, and only for purposes of recording my world and illustrating what I write.

This afternoon, I chanced to glance out of my window and see a bird high above our meadow.  I could not stop myself.  With the lyrical Tennyson lines rolling over themselves in my mind, I grabbed my camera and scooted onto the porch.

My friend Sally asked me yesterday if life’s vagaries had slowed the pace of entries here.  I contemplated her words, but then, found myself telling the truth.  This blog might have run its course.  It could be evolving.  I cannot say.  This much remains true:  Writing compels me.  My words might not dance over the smooth stones of a river’s bed, but they tumble to the keyboard as swiftly and as relentlessly from my hands as from the pen of any poet.

It’s evening, on the seventeenth day, of the seventy-first month since I began this endless year, in which I strive not to complain.  From the California Delta, my corner of paradise, I exhort you:  Take up your camera, your computer, your brush, your song, your courage.  Do not let go of  that which you grasp until whatever you long to do consumes each waking hour and sends you tired but content into the night.

Life continues.

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

I can’t say for certain that this is an eagle.  More likely, it is a hawk.  Taken with a simple Canon PowerShot SX530HS on full zoom mode, sitting on my porch across the meadow.

With special thanks:

To Sally Kerchner for her mad listening skills;

And to Genevieve Casey, for encouraging me to value myself.

2 thoughts on “Aspirations

  1. genevieve

    Love you Corrine, you are good people, you are so much better at reaching out to people. This is a lesson I need to learn. I often think that I appreciate people, or are in spired by them, or miss them, and I seldom say it. You are always acknowledging people, and it is such a kindness.

    I really like this bird picture. it is very painterly. the composition is really nice and is well proportioned. IMHO the bird being in silhouette makes it more artistic. I haven’t been feeling very inspired artistically lately as I am on the job hunt in my spare time, but I really like seeing what you capture. there is beauty all around you

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      Thank you. The bird and I both faced north with the sun behind us. He was far across a wide meadow high in a tall tree. My spastic hands tremble so it was hard to get that framing. I was reaching for it. Thirty shots, one usable with that precise display. Your praise on all levels means so much. Get a job near me, please!


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