Showing posts from January, 2012


When I was a green girl of fifteen, I was first introduced to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.I’ve written elsewhere of the numinosity of that introduction, but I didn’t mention that one of the poems that most intrigued me was this one:
BEGINNERS How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at intervals,) How dear and dreadful they are to the earth, How they inure to themselves as much as to any –           what a paradox appears their age, How people respond to them, yet know them not, How there is something relentless in their fate all times, How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and reward, And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same great purchase.

So here we are. The portentous 2012. “A new beginning,” say jump time enthusiasts…or, if we heed the Mayan calendar catastrophizers, “The end.” Nature would undoubtedly answer, “Both,” since cycles of death and rebirth are Her calling card. Mayan calendar notwithstanding, each year we Western humans r…