myth and poetry

mythopoetry Scholar


Matter & Beauty
Mythopoetry Scholar Ezine

Celery Salad And Old Eyes
-Deanna McKinstry-Edwards

This is not a sad story.
Life moves on that’s all. Moves
around and through things
becoming something else,
continents shaking at their edges
trawling for missing pieces.

Take celery root.  It’s tuberous
hardness cooked supple and soft,
becomes celery salad.
“No, I ‘ve never had celery salad,”
I told her.

She lives alone,
by a sacred fire of small things
made meaningful by her attention
and 96 year old hands dicing, chopping,
peeling, mixing mayonnaise, onion
and vinegar.

Late afternoon traffic on Sunset Boulevard,
framed in her living room windows,
lurches homeward,
the drivers, listening to tapes, music,
the news of murders and quaking continents,
a hundred leagues away they are from where they are,
split by long drives and the misgivings
of the day.

But with her, there are no misgivings,
she is already home, into her
evening rituals, present to
the smallest, and her cat
circling around her legs.

The rush is somewhere else.
Celery salad is being composed here
by 96 year old hands and
old eyes dimmed by macular
degeneration. Her soul’s
eyes are another story.

She is not what she was,
but always what she is.

The cutting board crackles
under her knife, the cat’s bell
jingles the air. 
I’m sitting under the relaxed sky
of her roomy apartment, filled with
96 years of memories, china, photos,
animal figures, animal paintings,
stuffed animals, some who can speak
and sing…
Animals, animals, animals, part of
our shared sacraments and bond.

Her footsteps, barely audible,
fall like magnolia petals,
onto the linoleum.  Will I ever walk this softly?

She is content.  Prepared to live,
19 bottles of distilled water
within reach, and prepared to move on
to a place as certain and clear in her mind
as the purest stream and sky
she could imagine.

Do you know anyone like that?
To know even one soul,
like a single pelican
rising from a salty lagoon,
full of liftoff, fluidity and flight,
will lay you down at day’s end,
home again, with simple things,
and no rush.

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Deanna McKinstry-Edwards, PhDAuthor Bio
Deanna McKinstry-Edwards PhD
is a professional actress, singer, writer and poet.  Since earning her PhD in Mythology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, Deanna has merged her performance talents with her academic background in psychology and myth. She works with individuals who wish to develop their own authentic voice, and to defuse emotional inhibitions and beliefs that prevent claiming that voice. Her clients include artists, individuals in the media, corporations and corporate executives, and therapists. The “missing voices” in every area of life, Deanna feels, have contributed to deep feelings of malaise, within individuals and in the work place. Deanna facilitates the expression of the many and “missing” voices within each of us through singing.  Singing, the emotional indigenous voice of the soul, she feels offers an embodied way for balancing and integrating the turbulent, creative changes and challenges in our lives. Ten years of care-taking her mother, who was left “voiceless” from a stroke, continues to inspire Deanna’s work.  She is married to renowned voice teacher Robert Edwards, who has practices in Los Angeles and Carmel, their home.  Together they’re writing a book based on his work and Deanna’s PhD dissertation, Singing: Soul’s Mythic Voice

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