Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Fine

I miss being fine. I would love to be great. You know, when people casually ask you how you are doing, and you say “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?” It is just a greeting. People don’t really want to know if you are NOT fine. So sometimes, if it is a person I don’t know well, I just go ahead and lie.

It isn’t that I mean to be untruthful. The truth is just too complex and too sad and to wearisome to tell. I’m not so fine these days. But I am well, I suppose.

I’m clinging to my cosmic egg theory. I am nesting and keeping this precious, delicate thing warm until it hatches and I get to become acquainted with the nascent universe inside.

The truth is, I don’t really know what I am becoming. The pain of surviving nursing school and losing Little A and all the other hurtful things I am enduring now may be making me into a goddess or a monster. Or both. I am more ferocious now, but I am also more tender now. I cry more, but I also laugh more.

I was telling a friend yesterday that all the weak and useless things in my life are falling away. We are nursing students, so we are learning to be like firefighters in that we run into the crisis when others are running out. We face down the blood and viscera of other people unflinchingly. That is shaping me emotionally, as well. I am learning to see people much more clearly, and by extension, myself.

I know what I want. I want to bed down in hot coals. I want to howl at the moon. I want to make the world tremble when I roar. I also want to hear the whispers in silence. I want to cradle precious love in my hands. I want to heal. I want to be able to rest my head somewhere safe.

I can’t fall apart. If I can survive being hollowed out by grief, then I can be a vessel to contain joy. If I can avoid filling myself with anger and bitterness, I can fill with the appreciation of all of life’s small, almost indiscernible moments of beauty and truth. That is what happy looks like to me. Then I will be beyond fine. I will be transcendent, incandescent, and very, very good.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pieta, Signore

Listen here:

Pietà, Signore,
di me dolente!
Signor, pietà,
se a te giunge
il mio pregar;
non mi punisca
il tuo rigor,
meno severi,
clementi ognora,
volgi i tuoi sguardi
sopra di me, ecc.

Non fia mai
che nell'inferno
sia dannato
nel fuoco eterno
dal tuo rigor.

Gran Dio, giammai
sia dannato
nel fuoco eterno
dal tuo rigor, ecc.
Pietà, Signore,
Signor, pietà
di me dolente,
se a te giunge
il mio pregare, ecc.
Meno severi,
clementi ognora,
volgi i tuoi sguardi,
deh! volgi squardi
su me, Signor, ecc.
Pietà, Signore,
di me dolente, ecc.

In English:

Have mercy, Lord,
on me in my remorse!
Lord, have mercy
if my prayer
rises to you;
do not chastise
me in your severity,
less harshly,
always mercifully,
look down
on me, etc.

Never let me
be condemned
to hell
in the eternal fire
by your severity.

Almighty God, never let me
be condemned to hell
in the eternal fire
by your severity, etc.
Have mercy, Lord,
Lord, have mercy
on me in my remorse,
if my prayer
rises to you, etc.
Less harshly,
always mercifully,
look down,
ah! look down
on me, Lord, etc.
Have mercy, Lord
on me in my remorse, etc.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Current swollen, rushing, amniotic

Carry downstream over rocks and roots.

With springtime glacier melt, bank breaching.

Cries of loons as the cutthroats jump.

Lacking paddle, upstream swimming

Habit-formed fight, bereft of control

Limbs burning under freezing foam

Before letting go to avoid going under.

Free-floating, like falling sideways

Through mossy shores and windswept boughs.

Uncharted wilds that stir with life:

Whitetail hoof beats, grizzly’s paw print.

Current-carried, is this my destination?

Do I climb out and shake like a wolf in the sun,

Or float a little longer hoping for a better view

And let the river carry me, perhaps to the sea?

Devolving in the delta, grow fins and gills.

Submerge and fill my lungs, dark and cool.

Into the mysterious briny deep swim faster

Iridescent tail fluke the last thing you see.

© Stacie Ferrante