Living with gaps

We think we need to hold everything close….to know where everything is going.

But probably, in life, the most important skill to learn is….

There are poets who learn from you
to say, what you, in your aloneness, are;
and they learn through you to live distantness,
as the evenings through the great stars
become accustomed to eternity.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Girls

Resilience

More and more I have come to admire resilience.

Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs – all this resinous, unretractable earth.
Jane Hirshfield, Optimism

Let go

The universe does not revolve around us.
The stars and planets,
spinning through the ballroom of space,
dance with one another
quite outside of our small life.
We cannot hold gravity or seasons;
even air and water inevitably evade our grasp.

Why not, then, let go?

We could move through time
like a shark through water,
neither restless or ceasing,
absorbed in and absorbing the native element.
Why pretend we can do otherwise?
The world comes in at every pore,
mixes in our blood
before breath releases us into the world again.

Did we think the fragile boundary of our skin
could build a wall?

Let’s listen.
Every molecule is humming its particular pitch.
Of course we are a symphony.
Whose tune do we think
the planets are singing
as they dance?

 Lynn Ungar,  Boundaries

Healing our wounds

Looking down into my father’s
dead face
for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles
without regrets
but with civility
“Good night, Willie Lee, I’ll see you
in the morning.”

And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end.

Alice Walker, Collected Poems

 

The dance

Mystery is so ever-present that no one can know for certain what will happen one hour from now. From mystery’s vantage there is no fixed path. In truth there is no path at all, for that would be to place it into the realm of space and time. To awaken is not to fix or hold but to love whatever is here. Knowing this truth releases our hearts from grasping. The mystery that gave us birth becomes a dance

Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry