The Wild Braid

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Every year Philip and I take a trip to Cape Cod to see our dear friends Wally and Sarah Morrison. Since our discovery of the poet, Stanley Kunitz, we also include a pilgrimage to his home in Provincetown. (The picture in this posting is from the front of his house.) Kunitz passed away in 2006 at the age of 101. His writing is timeless and it continues to inspire lovers of art and poetry today. Spending a century in the garden, his work and life’s philosophy reflect a deep understanding of all living things and the cycle and life and death.

Re-reading The Wild Braid, Kunitz’s last book, has brought me peace and happiness on this path of sobriety. The poems, musings and interviews in this book connect me to what feels essential and important in my life (my spouse, my family, trees, flowers, animals and the ocean). Most of all, Kunitz’s book helps me to understand why I am sharing my experiences in this blog. In following passage, Kunitz affirms in me a need to write and gives me hope that I may help someone, someday.

Art must have a social sense, a sense of the society in which we live and thrash.

As an artist you are a representative human being—you have to believe that in order to give your life over to that effort to create something of value. You’re not doing it only to satisfy your own impulses or need; there is a social imperative. If you solve your problems and speak of them truly, you are of help to others, that’s all. And it becomes a moral obligation.

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