Some amazing photographs were published in the NYT. The subjects were ordinary acts by families and individuals. But when the storm Sandy swept them up they were transformed and ethereal and spoke to me of life’s transience and of what endures. I wrote this for a poet friend…little haiku to hold my thoughts.
Do not wait for great
Chop onions, sort laundry;
write when the heart says write.
The great storms are here
What if yours is the poem left behind.
The flotsam found on the beach.
Write in indelible ink.
Speak of our friendship, my dear.
How it survived.
For me voicing poetry and writing poetry is transformative. It requires presence and breath. It requires acceptance of one’s experience in this moment and gives the gift of a changed experience through the very act of reading or creating. Here is a poem I wrote about one such moment of awareness.
After this winter
of cruel stories
The hungry bandits.
To find frog eggs
lives to be yet sung.
The smallest frog:
the loudest croak.
I am still here.
It was the quietness of your voice
your hands in the dark pond
sitting soundless together
that left me
with the soft cloak
and here is one from Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy.
Part Two, Sonnet XXIX
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Once at a workshop we participants were challenged to walk barefoot on a hike through the forest.The invitation to discard hiking boots induced the gamut of reactions.
A good antidote to “stuck” is inviting surprise. Most of the time surprise enters through our senses rather than our thoughts, so the more we settle into our bodies (grounding) the more likely we are to receive the surprise when it comes with joy rather than anxiety.
Walking in the redwoods barefoot brought an edge to our attention.
With a few notes, a sketch, an iPhoto a new memory is anchored.
Banking new memories helps us move past the old hurts.
From “stuck” to “surprise” to “stillness” and “smile”. Aha!
Beginner Mind….again and again. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) since 1984, my focus is on creating a safe environment for reflective conversations. Revising the narrative of one’s life can lead to choice and change, acceptance and contentment. This … Continue reading →