Monday, January 14, 2013

Accuracy


When I used a line from Hopkins as a title on Friday, in quotes, I knew that someone, Paul probably, would track it down.

As I typed the line –- the roll, the rise, the carol, the creation -– I remembered a few lines from a poem of Grace Schulman:
I thought of Hopkins and his praise today
When I studied the pure symmetry
Of cross-stitches on an oak leaf's underside
And knew that love is nothing less than accuracy
What does she mean?

She does not say that love is accuracy, only that it is nothing less. Perhaps more, but nothing less.

The cross-stitching on an oak leaf's underside. The way the gecko's dewlap pulses with surprise. The boa curling into the rock wall, like a silken scarf up a magician's sleeve. The thin green shoot that breaks the coconut's adamant shell.

Accuracy would seem to be a prerequisite to love, seeing a thing as it is, not as we might wish it to be. Or at least a prerequisite for love that lasts. And so, I practice attention, drawing still on my early training as a scientist, which was all about seeing things as they are, not as we might wish them to be.

She stands at the kitchen sink, doing dishes, and I watch with a practiced eye.

Nothing less, but more. Surely more.