Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tenderness Only

Today, with tender words and images, I want to have a quiet look at tenderness. 

May is a tender month still, always.  Not fragile exactly, just open to hurt and disappointment, and to waking joy 
that can too easily be chased.

Let’s be still as we can, consider it.

Incipience.  Smallness against bigness.  The awkward.  The ephemeral.  The doomed.  Each little thing that breaks our heart—and then mends it again.

A root seeks water.Tenderness only breaks open the earth.This morning, out the window,the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.” 
—Jane Hirshfield, from Standing Deer

“The nourishment of Cezanne's awkward apples is in the tenderness and alertness they awaken inside us.” 
—Jane Hirshfield

“Tender," she said again. "Tender is kind and gentle. It's also sore, like the skin around an injury.”
—Brenna Yovanoff, The Space Between 

Be tender, in this often less than tender world.  Be tender and be well.

images:  Christie B. Cochrell, cobweb, tendrils, bird on Hadrian’s Wall, statue hand
Cezanne apples
Gaston de la Touche
pine buds, Brylie Oxley


  1. oh.
    that may explain.
    how one can be 67 years old.
    and sitting alone in a restaurant . . .
    hearing on the piped music of a warbling whistle
    the kind her father used to do.
    when she was small. and tender.
    a tender memory welling up with tears.
    of a man in her life who's been gone.
    for 50 of her tender years.
    thank you Christie.

  2. Thank you, Tammy J, for the sweetly tender poem.

  3. I think you portrayed really nicely the changes, passages, and transitions that May brings about. Flues and allergies are included in the package, but it's nice being sick in May: summer's a good cause!

    1. But being sick is never really good, so please get better!