Ephemeral

There are transitory moments

between seasons

when the world

comes out of its dressing room,

so stunning we lose our balance.

This moment of spiritual frenzy

does not wait to be discovered.

It comes and goes like a fire

of dry kindling,

and can be easy to miss

depending on one’s latitude.

 

Light spills through antique bottles

on a sunken windowsill,

stones and tree-roots

are less discreet than usual.

We feel our fingertips more closely,

an un-namable itch turns over inside us

and we want to know everything.

 

It is my job to point this out,

as I pointed out the copper-plated bar top

while you gobbled up your crustaceans,

swimming in a sauce of cream and brown roux,

sopping up the last remnants with grilled bread.

Planets may rotate and stars explode,

but earthbound as we are,

we listen for warblers.

 

We look ahead to coffee,

meals, holidays, weather.

 

Reception

Friends, I toss myself aside for you.  I become available for you.  I eat, drink, mumble, run hands through hair for you, scramble down the gulch for you, carry wood, fold socks, scrub pots, ever-fearless, requiring nothing.

These are not the days of time’s inhalation pulling way up under the world’s collarbones, stitching together the fibers of dream and memory.  These are days of emptying the mind, distilling the essence.

Friends, what does it matter if the world hears your voice?  We all belong to each other. Your voice is here, mine is here: as wild, small, and equal in worth as any other.

The voice is in your heart and so the world’s heart knows it, as surely as you know the heart of the world and hear its voice also, as surely as there is perfect stillness in the eye of the storm.

We listen for the voice with all the power of our deepest listening,  as if our line is cast before the coming of a great fish, a sudden tug is felt through our hands, and our withered husks give rise to some new possibility, somewhere between dusk and our return journey.

 

Artists

Our creations marinate inside of us, waiting for us to develop enough discipline to bring them to fruition.

They don’t try to dazzle us, or sell us anything – they simply regard us with the deadly quiet of a tiger’s eye, the urgency of the wayward moth, and tremble in their readiness to flutter through our hands.

Light My Way

May my heart light my way.  May it come into a place not unlike the narrow line that exists between water and fire, a pocket of stillness where both forces are within reach.  Then I could learn their ways, how to call on them, how to let them enter me, how to recognize which one is called for.  Then I might discover how to refuse nothing, yet also how to hold on to nothing.

May my heart find peace.  May it find a way to be supported by the great net of life – the embroidery of things – and not lose itself in the intricate mesh.  Then it might remember to bow more readily, honoring what support it has already found.

Having lost my way many times before, may I more easily recognize those paths and not start down them again.  May I light my way instead of losing it.

 

 

 

 

When I Am Old

When I am old, I’ll have had my fill of beds, couches, chairs, the underwater hibernation of cavernous sleep. I’ll have had enough of the body’s honesty and the mind’s betrayals.

When I am old I will leap up unexpectedly, so fully rested that the last shooting star of vitality will pass over my face, the memory of youth searing my eyes with its virile flame, scorching my solar plexus. I’ll escape my caretaker (if I’m lucky enough to have one), and slip off to Florida where I can soak in the warm saltwater and hear southern girls talk. I’ll hop a flight to Barcelona and see the masquerade-mask balconies, sit at a sidewalk café in Rome with my ten-mile stare, stop in Vietnam and stand in the emerald brilliance of a rice field. In Africa, the treetops will sway differently than what I’m accustomed to. In Tahiti, the sand grains will pepper my thighs. In Egypt, thousands of mosquitoes will be feasted upon by swarms of bats as I sit and savor rich golden couscous and sticky dates from Morocco.

When I am old, I’ll lay down on a grassy slope as the summer evening comes on, and long for the warm familiarity of you, thinking of the way you entered all the cells of my body and stayed there. Venus will be there, and the North Star, and the Moon of course, and the fireflies with their luminous silence.

When I am old, I’ll be wondering why I’m still here when everyone else has gone.  I’ll avoid mirrors and my reflection in shop windows, too weary of my appearance to steal a glance. I’ll inspect my food as if it were an alien substance. I’ll recall the world I grew up in as a lost one, and I’ll be a castaway in this new and different world.

When I am old, a gentle breeze will pick up and the light in me will go out. It will be my turn to discover whether or not you get to see everyone again, my turn to find out what happens next, after a lifetime of wondering.

 

Stones On The Shore

Like stones on the seashore, we too are fragments of something larger, something greater.

We too are individual yet connected. We too are washed up here from another realm, only to return to it. We are moved back out of the sphere of gravity and oxygen, back out of a place that owes everything to its proximity to a burning star.

Our time in this dimension will cease to be, as we are returned to the same waves that washed us up, in earth-time, only a moment before. Strands of consciousness, we return to our transcendent source, no We, no You, no I.

In the one hand, Time. In the other, Eternity.  In both hands, Love.

 

 

We Cannot Wait

We cannot wait for things to be different, for things to be perfect, for things to meet our requirements.  We cannot wait for everyone’s approval.  We cannot wait for the certainty that everyone will like what we have to say.

We cannot wait for ourselves to feel less afraid.  We cannot wait for the road to be clear before we cross it.  We have to step out into the traffic, we have to take the risk.  We will be criticized, misunderstood.  Still, we cannot wait.

Transformation means loosening our grip, letting go, letting the light come through the cracks.