Monday, October 31, 2016
On the way down from Mt Ranier, on a tour bus we stop
for a birds eye view of Narada Falls. I walk
to the edge of a stream sloping
toward the falls.
I remember Narada as a prince in Indian mythology. Exactly who?
Oh yeah, a musician and storyteller who saw Vishnu only once
in this lifetime— an inspiration for prayer and mantra
the lad would compose along the path.
It’s autumn and I want to feel the chill of water against my skin
so I place a foot on a rock and prepare to kneel and drop
my hands into the shimmering stream. Damn I see
a sign which stops me cold:
Rocks are slippery
Current is strong
If you fall you may
Be battered to death
Stepping away to save my ass I ponder Narada: would he have danced
across boulders if there were a poem in the movement
or if it were a way to bathe Vishnu
with soft tears of devotion?
What I’m getting at is you can look at the artist as hero facing death
in every act of creation, in each song and sand painting, but have
no sense of how he treats his dog, brews his coffee, or even
whether or not he prefers an electric tooth brush.
Still we want to be artists,
want to be heroes,
step on slippery rocks,
save the world.
- Barry Denny