Friday, February 13, 2015



A poem by Robert Bly entitled 'The Third Body' caught my attention today, the chosen poem for
 "A Year of Being (which I read assiduously each day and even commit to memory 
some of those lines that I find especially appropriate to life as it is these days.....

A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born
in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.
A man and a woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

I mused upon the words and thought, 'yes, that could be who keeps me company through the lonely nights and the sometimes barren days.'.

Since I have lived alone I find myself talking sometimes to the cat, sometimes to inanimate objects, sometimes to various body parts, like back and knees and nose 
and sometimes even bladder.  
And often to this 'someone we know of, whom we have never seen'
 but who was created from all our years together,  
all our contentment, all our passion.

In order to dispel the 'blah' of February I decided I would return to the loom 
with purpose and enthusiasm, 
and so I found a promising looking pattern for tea towels described as "Peacful Rhythm Towels" - just what I needed to keep myself on track and cheerful, 
and to accomplish my goal of using up as much of my wool and cotton stash as possible.

Well, this involves a lot of talking to the Back, which gets weary leaning over the loom,
 threading the heddles. 
 And the Knees, which may creak and groan as I bend them and kneel, 
but are much more recalcitrant when I start to get up! 
 In order to appease the Back I have been threading the heddles in small portions,
which allows for a lot of traffic back and forth along the hall way.

On one journey to and fro I decided half way down the hall that I would go back and get a cup of coffee, and so I turned back to go to the kitchen.  
On my way I thought about a pair of scissors I needed that were in my bedroom.  
Well, - bedroom, yes - that's right by the ensuite, 
and my bladder, over the years, has become quite familiar with this small room
 and often anxious to visit there.  
So, of course, the suggestion was made and that over, we started back for the coffee, 
and then back down the hall to the loom room. 
 I am not sure what 'someone we know of, whom we have never seen' 
thought about all these perambulations,
 but I know that if Charles happened to be looking down
 he would have furrowed his brow and said "I never should have left her alone!!"

Well, the heddles are all threaded and now I have replaced the reed and am starting to sley it
- it gives me a lovely feeling of accomplishment, 
even though my body parts may complain tiresomely.

And I know what I am going to do tomorrow!!  
Sley the dent a bit at a time, - tie on to the front beam, 
and start the shuttle going back and forth!!!!

Callie sits beside me as I work, curious as to what I am doing, 
and eager to keep me company, I think.  
Along with that dear 'third person' created by such long familiarity and love.


5 comments:

Penny said...

I think I know what you mean even though I don't live alone but had a mild and very silly panic attack this morning as John had a cataract operation. He is quite alright so it was all rather silly. I do like the drawing today, lovely lines.

Chip Butter said...

How I would love to come sit beside you and Callie and help "start the shuttle going back and forth."

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I thought about that poem quite a while (when it came in my e-mail and thank you again for that!). This was not one of those about which I immediately thought 'oh, yes' but it was one I saved to go back to and try again. Now I think I understand it better.

But the language of weaving is still a foreign language ;>). Even you cannot help me with that one!

Anne at Shintangle Studio said...

What a lovely poem: I'm going to share it with my dear husband when I get home from work. Good on you, taking up weaving. I was once apprenticed to a weaver (in what seems like a former lifetime), but dressing the loom seemed like far too much trouble so I spend my textile energy elsewhere.

Barb said...

Yes, the third body we do not know created by years of companionship - I hope it brings you some solace, Hildred. I think Charles would be smiling, actually - "there she goes again," he might say.