The Opposite of Justice

Perhaps I could find my way to the doors of Justice
if only I could balance these tablets of Beauty and Rage,
could hear the wind in the trees while the harpies are shrieking.
Will I throw off the balance of nature if I listen to their song?
Or will it ruin the arc of the story if I shoo off the bird-women
and sit by the River with the wind in my hair?

What is the opposite of justice? Is it injustice or mercy?

On one side of the story is a silent horse, white as a ghost,
patiently waiting in tall meadow grasses. On the other side
of the river, of the fence, of the tale, three vultures in trees
open their wings to the sun. Between them, a poppy,
red as blood, sways in the morning breeze.

In the old Norse story, Odin All-Father, ruler of the gods of Asgard, hung himself upside-down from the World Tree Ygdrassil for nine days and nights in order to gaze into the depths of the Well of Urd to learn the meanings of the runes, the ancient alphabet. He accepted no help from anyone, and hung in limbo between life and death until he had gained their secrets. Tomorrow, the Fool encounters the seeker for knowledge, the one who is willing to sacrifice comfort, to risk death, perhaps, in order to gain wisdom that will benefit the world. I never thought about it this way before, but Odin’s relentless search for knowledge reminds me of scientific thirst. What would you endure in order to gain wisdom and knowledge?

Gratitude List:
1. Poetry Read-Aloud Day in Creative Writing Class. There is a magic to the random collection of poems chosen by students. Suddenly a work by Robert Frost is informing the words of Tupac Shakur, or three students in one class all choose Langston Hughes poems. Magic.
2. Playing in the sandbox with a small person. If I am there and designing labyrinths and rocks gardens for my character (who happens to be a rather beat up truck), he takes up the burden of telling the story of the play that we are making up, his demolition derby cars zooming around the sandbox, knocking each other over the hills.
3. Springtime birdsong. My heart lifts and lifts. (Was I really that completely caught in the whirlpool of winter? Each day something new in me thaws.)
4. People of Peace
5. Problem-solving. Finding the language.

May we walk in Beauty!

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