Monday, March 18, 2013

Sara Bard Field

Ella Young's close circle of friends, or as she would say "comrades," in California were as eclectic and as interesting as her circle had been in Ireland. They shared a vision, often expressed in poetry or in paintings, of a world deeply connected to the power, the beauty, the creation and the destruction of nature. They called each other by secret, magical names. They honored the turning of the great wheel with rituals on the wind-swept sands of the beach and in the leaf-shadowed twilight of the redwood forests.

Sara Bard Field (1882-1974) was one such comrade - a courageous and passionate woman whose home in Los Gatos she shared not only with her husband, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, but with the cultural "movers and shakers" of the San Francisco and Monterey areas. The great photographer, Ansel Adams, sought Sara out for questions of spiritual importance even as he sought out Ella's advice in his quest to be a poet.

Palo Corona 
Photograph © Denise Sallee 2013

So here is a poem by Sara Bard Field written after the tragic death of her son, Albert.

The Windy Hour

I walked a little while alone
Upon a wind-wrapped hill
And suddenly, as by command,
My soul grew listening-still.

Listening like the deaf and dumb
Who hear with haunted eyes
Fearful of learning life, half-true
And learning life, half-lies.

And this is what was softly said
Upon a wind-wrapped hill:
"Tomorrow shall you, like your soul,
Lie motionless and still.

Lie motionless and old and numb - 
Closed your ears and eyes
For death shall make an end of truth
For you - and end of lies. 

"For death shall make an end of truth
Save the one truth of sleep;
No ear need hear that silencing
No eye need watch it creep."

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