Monday, June 29, 2009

Aria by the ocean

Brown and Agile Child
~by Pablo Neruda

Brown and agile child, the sun which forms the fruit
And ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
Has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
And given your mouth the smile of water.

A black and anguished sun is entangled in the twigs
Of your black mane when you hold out your arms.
You play in the sun as in a tidal river
And it leaves two dark pools in your eyes.

Brown and agile child, nothing draws me to you,
Everything pulls away from me here in the noon.
You are the delirious youth of bee,
The drunkedness of the wave, the power of the heat.

My somber heart seeks you always
I love your happy body, your rich, soft voice.
Dusky butterfly, sweet and sure
Like the wheatfield, the sun, the poppy, and the water.

I wrote in a recent post that lately I've been back in contact with quite a few old friends through Facebook. Two of them are named Bruce, ironic since I don't think that is a particularly common name. I'll introduce the other Bruce and his genius website in a post soon.

The Bruce that pertains to today's post is the photographer of this beautiful and touching shot of young Aria at the Oregon coast this month. He is also her grandfather.....

Bruce adopted Aria's mother and uncle when they were little kids themselves, when he married their mother. He and I lost contact between the time he began dating his future wife and our "becoming friends" recently on Facebook, although he and his wife did attend my mother's memorial service in 2000, and Mike and I happened upon them one day some years later in a local park. You know. Life happened.
happened....... Aria and her little brother being two of them.
Lucky Bruce.

Lucky World.

When I originally posted this I included an audio stick that continuously played Bookends Theme by Simon & Garfunkel. I couldn't leave it because it started automatically, even when I published a new post. Here is a nice video of the same music...

Photo by Bruce Olson
Graphic by



Marie Reed said...

Pablo Neruda is on of my favorite poets.. How lovely that you are in contact again and have this lovely picture of Aria! (what a pretty name too:)

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I don't know why I was fighting facebook for so long. I, too, got reconnected with a friend whom I thought was long lost....We are making plans to meet up and go camping soon since he moved from FL to KY!

YogaforCynics said...

Aria looks beautiful...and what a great the Neruda poem, too...written at a time when celebrating dark-skinned children (or dark-skinned anybody) wasn't so common...which wasn't too long ago...which, perhaps, is why I still feel like tearing up when I think of the moment during Obama's acceptance speech when he brought his beautiful wife and daughters on stage, and I thought "wow...that's the first family...."

robin said...

lucky world is right.

what a beautiful way to start a week:)

Darlene said...

The sweet photo of a child apparently entranced by the ocean waves is lovely to behold. Your accompanying poem is touching.

Maggie May said...

How lovely. Neruda is one of my favorites.

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, Beautiful pic and poem. Bruce is a very lucky person :)

Erin Davis said...

Lucky us indeed! I love how your stories of your own relationships touch us in a universal way--and the picture is just lovely. Neruda feeds the soul! I just joined Facebook. I resisted it for so long, but it's kind of cool...

Lydia said...

@Marie Reed- Neruda always has the right words. And I love Aria's name, too.
It really is wonderful being back in touch. He's my nearest-by friend that I didn't keep up with. Now this reminds me to email my second-nearest-by friend, who was one of my best friends in high school.

@Wayfaring Wanderer- Well he isn't that far away from you now, so how fun to get together for a camping trip. Double-good for us because you will hopefully post some beautiful shots of the scenery.

@YogaforCynics- I loved your recollections on the acceptance speech. My thoughts were the same and I sure cried tears of joy.
Bruce emailed other shots of the kids at the beach, and yes, Aria is a true little beauty and her brother so handsome.

@Robin- I hope the good beginning will carry the week, then. Be happy in the days ahead.

@Darlene- "Apparently entranced" is such a beautiful expression to describe the child here. Bruce said that he didn't realize what he had captured until he got home. The surprise of that makes it all the more special.
Glad you liked the poem by Neruda too.

@Maggie May- I'm thinking I must buy an anthology of Neruda's poems. Haven't looked out there yet to see what's available but I imagine something wonderful can be found.

@Looking to the Stars- So glad you enjoyed them both. Yes, from Bruce's messages he seems to have a gratitude for his blessings. And the same dry wit that founded our friendship in the first place!

@Erin- Aw, that is special what you said about my stories. And a special way of describing Neruda!
Facebook is kinda fun. I am truly amazed by the amount of time some people devote to the site. So, if someone from your first grade class is looking for "the little red-haired girl" . . .

the watercats said...

Friendships are great things, particularly old ones rekindled! Beautiful poem and beautiful picture :-)

Margo said...

I love this kind of photo taken from behind children. For some reason I can't explain they strike a chord. Beautiful poem. I haven't heard it before and I'm keeping it :)

Ben said...

I love Pablo Neruda! That's an awesome poem. My favorite poem by him is called "Tonight I Can Write." Bruce sounds like a really good guy. I'm glad you guys got to reconnect.

Friko said...

Pablo Neruda and Simon and Garfunkel. It is all so long ago...... and memories are all that's left you - and me.

distracted by shiny objects said...


koe whitton-williams said...

Lydia - the combination of the song 'bookends' this poem, what you've written and the picture of Aria is captivating. I think I've listened to the music play through a dozen times. It's a good time for reconnecting and being a bit sad for the near misses, those who've slipped away forever. Thank you for posting this.

Jennifer said...

You have a wonderful talent for matching image with poem and following it up with sparkling prose.

It's true.

Lydia said...

@the watercats- Really am glad you enjoyed this. I bet you two are wonderful to your friends...

@Margo- My husband likes photographing people and animals from behind, so I think it strikes a similar chord with him. Isn't it a special poem? I'm keeping it too!

@Ben- I will definitely look up the Neruda poem you mentioned, as I'm not familiar with it. Bruce is a good guy and a good friend.

@Friko- I could listen to that song over and over (and have through the years). It always gets to me in a deep way. :) Gotta get over to see your garden!

@Distracted- Thanks so much.

@Koe- Wow, I loved the way you expressed those thoughts...
Had to remove the little audio bar (see p.s. in post) but placed a video there with the song. Love that one dearly.

@Jennifer- It means so much to me for you to say that!

earthtoholly said...

What a gorgeous photo and poem. And lucky world indeed. That's nice that you've found an old friend with such happy photos to share. Maybe we'll see more of Aria...and her brother?

Lydia said...

@earthtoholly- What a cool idea to see more of Aria and her brother! I'll ask Bruce to email photos as he takes them. I'm not sure where they live or how often he sees them.

Lisa Allender said...

WOW!! Pablo Neruda(my fav quote of his:"Peace goes into the making of a Poet, as Flour goes into the making of Bread.")
And Aria--gorgeous name, gorgeous child.
It's not often I feel I've missed anything by NOT having given birth, but photos like this, make me wistful.
So sweet.
I ALMOST FORGOT--be sure to click on my blog, Lisa Allender Writes, very soon!
Peace, yo.



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