Monday, November 12, 2012


NIGHT BAMBOO



Standing out in the strong wind last night getting a good soft buffeting, listening to the air itself roar the way it does when seasons change, in the castoff light from the house windows I watched the same bamboo I always see as a wall of vegetation in the light of day, when I look out the window or glance up from gardening or firewooding-- 

But now, in the light upon the dark, and as a figure in the picture myself I saw the bamboo as if on a stage before me, saw how it lived and moved in ancient understanding of the roar of an autumn night-- it was a different beast, clearly alive now out here in its world, collective in its singularity, truer to its nature there in the night of its life, where seeing is of no point and being is all--



I'd always thought of this bamboo in itself as individual stalks, the stubborn ones I now and then had to force my way through on a path of last resort. A feisty plant in its human relations, this is the variety they make fishing rods out of - mountain bamboo - taller than a man but slender and crowded, grows too densely for any but wild pigs, ferrets, foxes and snakes to travel easily through (bamboo and animals share a primordial alliance of noses and shapes); but now, in the rush of the night, each light-paled stalk was on its own, yet one with all the others.

Like a school of bright fish in a dark sea they were together, shifting and swaying, shining and turning as one golden mass in the roiling ocean of black air that moved with and around them, 'together' in the deepest meaning: wind and stalk, air and plant in one vast lifewave, both surrendering, both prevailing, air moving on, bamboo letting it go and holding fast to the earth, each stalk reaching even in the night for the light of the day to come, in ancient and undying trust.

3 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

In Manoa Falls on Oahu u should see the bamboo! they are unbelievably tall.. and when the wind moves them they sound like a xylophone!. Better yet, if u have a bamboo windchime u would know exactly what I am talking about... Manoa Falls is a magical place!. A natural rainforest that has such unbelievable beauty.

Robert Brady said...

Bamboo's gotta rank high among the world's best plants...

NJBiru said...

Nice post.