I'm still on the bear kick. I'm even going to teach a class in the fall called "The Literary Bear." So I share this lovely poem with you today, the others "who make fires and cry tears."
"The Bear's Gift"
by Ursula K. LeGuinNobody knows the name of the bear,
not even the bear. Only the ones
who make fires and cry tears know the name
of the bear, that the bear gave to them.
Quail and plumed grass, infant and puma,
all their lives they are wholly alive
and they do not have to say a word.
But those who know the name of the bear
have to go out alone and apart
across hollow places and bridges,
crossing dangerous places;
and they speak. They must speak. They must say
all the words, all the names, having learned
the first name, the bear's name. Inside it
is language. Inside it is music.
We dance to the sound of the bear's name
and it is the hand we take hands with.
We see with the dark eye of that name
what no one else sees: what will happen.
So we fear darkness. So we light fires.
So we cry tears, our rain, the salt rain.
All the deaths, our own and the others,
are not theirs, but our own, the bear's gift,
the dark name that the bear gave away.