In 1983 I bought a big blue hardcover journal in which to copy out things I read that set me humming like a telegraph wire with images so powerful, or words so musical, that I know I will want to taste them again. I have often needed to open that book, for inspiration, for comfort, for reminders, and to help focus my prayers and intentions. These particular passages caught my eye and mind today. By coincidence (ha!), they are all written by women.
Long afterward, Oedipus, old and blinded, walked the roads. He smelled a familiar smell. It was the Sphinx. Oedipus said, "I want to ask you one question. Why didn't I recognize my mother?"
"You gave the wrong answer," said the Sphinx.
"But that was what made everything possible," said Oedipus.
"No," she said. "When I asked what walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening, you answered, 'Man'. You didn't say anything about woman."
"When you say Man," said Oedipus, "you include women too. Everyone knows that."
She said, "That's what you think."
The red-winged blackbird flies in us, in our inner sight. We see the arc of her flight. We measure the ellipse. We predict its climax. We are amazed. We are moved. We fly. We watch her wings negotiate the wind, the substance of the air, its elements and the elements of those elements, and count those elements found in other beings, the sea urchin's sting, ink, this paper, our bones, the flesh of our tongues with which we make the sound "blackbird", the ear with which we hear, the eye which travels the arc of her flight. And yet the blackbird does not fly in us but in somewhere else free of our minds, and now even free of our sight, flying in the path of her own will.
I would bend my head to the ground if I could take my eyes off the beauty.
Barbara Taylor Brown
"Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"
"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober…"
And neither am I, Ms. Sayers, neither am I.