“Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.”
~A. P. J. Abdul Kalam~
Feeding on Light
By Claudia J. Ricci, Ph.D.
Maybe because so many winter days are white and overcast,
the dawn of a clear sunny morning brings a thrill.
No matter that it’s zero degrees at sunrise and that
No matter that
the wind scours and piles and fills and whips and tips over trees
and there is a fierce burn to bite your eyelashes if you step outside.
No matter that the sun may not last past noon.
It’s still a gift to open your eyes to see the meadow and the grey maple-treed forest outside the window
all of it bathing in long lazy rays of delicious sun.
The sun streams across the kitchen, turning the
cabinets orange. The same rays cross the threshold into the laundry room and leave a tiny square of spring green light on the washing machine.
I set my finger into that delightful green spot.
It’s got promise, that spot.
The fruit bowl, with its orange, green and yellow curves and shadows, becomes a still life painting.
And in the dining room, the strips of light spread across the rug and
beckon to me.
I stretch out flat in one, as if I’m lying on a blanket on the beach.
I stare right into the flood of sunlight coming through the window
and I am delighted to be blinded. I smile. I think
Florida, Saint Pete, Orlando, Palm Beach.
I think emerald waves and long white beaches. Palm trees and the smell of ocean breezes. Bathing suits. Flip flops and suntan lotion and the grainy touch of sand.
Maybe because this morning’s light is so rare, and I know there is no holding onto it,
every place my glances happens to land — on deeply furrowed grey bark, on the snow-covered rocks, on green pine needles —
I let my gaze dally.
The day becomes a meditation, eyes feeding, each moment
Claudia Ricci, Ph.D
Claudia chose an abstract painting of herself as a photo for her bio. She is an artist as well as a writer.
Claudia Ricci, Ph.D., taught English, journalism and creative writing at the University at Albany, SUNY for 14 years, and did a year-long teaching sabbatical at Georgetown University in 2009. Formerly a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, she is now a freelancer writing both hard news and feature stories. She turned to fiction writing in 1991 and earned her Ph.D. in English (Teaching, Writing, and Criticism) from SUNY Albany in 1996. Her first novel, Dreaming Maples, was published in 2002 after it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her second novel, Seeing Red, appeared in January, 2011. Her short fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines nationwide including Alaska Quarterly Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Bayou, Yemassee, Barkeater, The Adirondack Review, The MacGuffin, and Another Chicago Magazine. Ricci’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Business Week, Parentsmagazine and The Washington Post. She has been writing for the Huffington Post since 2008 and keeps her own blog at http://www.mystorylives.blogspot.com.
Claudia’s paintings: http://www.claudiariccipaintings.squarespace.com
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