CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#001: January, 2007
New York City experienced its first snowless month of December in 129 years, while here in the high desert country of New Mexico, we experienced our greatest amount of snowfall since the winter of 1959. Our landscapes have been filled these past weeks with a seeming emptiness, a blanket of blankness, a vista of white snow. Ironically, white is the total of all colors and black the absence of color. Or in other words, white reflects all light and black absorbs light, reflecting nothing back. While we may feel absorbed in the long, dark nights of winter, the white blanket of holiday snow bounces back all the colors shone down by the quickly passing sun. What looks like nothing is actually everything.
“Blank is the end; Blank the beginning.” Thus begins the description for the Blank Rune, the rune of destiny, Odin’s rune. Runes are an ancient Germanic alphabet used for many things, including as a prophetic tool. Odin was the chief god in Norse mythology, the god of wisdom, war, death, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. (Odin was a really busy guy!) I recall the teachings of the Blank Rune this month as we clean the slate of the past and contemplate the empty plate of the new year before us, full of possibilities. It is a metaphor for life. On one hand we are the sum total of all that we have done and on the other hand there is all we have yet to do and become.
In the spirit of cleaning the slate of the past and moving forward into the blankness of the new year, you may notice that the name of this column has changed. It was in June 2004 that the first Poet’s Corner appeared in this newspaper with the title “You Might Be A Poet.” Over the next thirty issues, the vision of this column broadened, encompassing not just writing poems, but also enjoying the very poetry of life. And so we begin a new year by looking across the snow-covered panorama allowed by a poet’s corner window. I hope you will enjoy blazing new trails to old places and old trails to new places as we travel the vistas via Corner Window with Jeff Hartzer.
Amidst magic, life, and death, Odin found time for poetry. Nowhere is the poetry of life more visible than in our South Valley. Nearly everywhere one looks in the South Valley people are living their lives in vibrant colors. Throughout all the monotonies, frustrations, and strange details of modern life, people honor the art and poetry in everyday happenings. Here we don’t just grow the alfalfa, we stop to smell it, too. What may not look like much to an “outsider” is actually full of color, reflecting all the light there is.
From our Corner Window this month, we can review our past as well as look to the future. What is it that we brought to the forefront of our lives in 2006 and what is it that we are striving for in 2007? Even as we make New Year’s resolutions in an effort to write our destiny of the next twelve months, we are faced with the need to relinquish control. Indeed, how can we truly exercise control over that which is not yet formed? Where will we go and what will happen in the world as it turns and spins through 2007? Will this be the year to complete the roadwork on Isleta Boulevard? Will the bounty of snow end our seemingly endless drought or will we break yet another weather record and find ourselves as dry as ever? Will development overwhelm the agrarian feel of the South Valley? Is the work of self-change progressing in our lives? “Blank is the end; Blank the beginning.” Thus, it begins ...
Jeff Hartzer © 2007