Thursday, May 19, 2011

Todos Santos

The clean fire of spaciousness. Only myself, only here, only now. Putting my face to my shins, sitting in circle, in yoga, at dinner, at the fire pit. I am feeling my way through not belonging, belonging, being a wave, being part of the ocean.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


This early morning I wake with that same feeling of unnamed dread I've had before, this time with words: there is a very great grief coming. At first it seems it could be attached to keenly experiencing the sequence of "last times of doing" in this house as it is, as we discuss our plans for rebuilding. I have not lost my very great attachment to things. A house is a big thing.

Quick leap to darker, wider reasons. In fact, a very great grief is here, can be here, every day, every moment. That disappointment, harm, even death may come to my children or others whom I love. The conflict I feel between anything I could possibly do and the great workings of the world--like the death of Bin Laden, the clash of belief and world view that caused the war machine to necessitate his death, the incredible focus and energy that was poured into readying men and materials for such an end. The death, indeed perhaps the life, of any girl and boy in Pakistan, the country in which I was born. In all countries and wrinkles that don't even belong to countries over the face of the earth. All the ways we misunderstand, misconstrue, misapprehend. All the mistakes I have made and will make. All the change that has already come and gone, always. Many of the poems I've learned by heart stream through my mind, watching woods fill up with snow, margaret's goldengrove unleaving, and especially the thrush's ecstatic song shared on the bleakest winter evening.

These are sorrows constantly in and of the world, from which I cannot protect myself or any child. There is no sufficient preparation. And yet. Sometimes I do feel joy instead. And neither the joy nor sorrow are my personal domain. They flow through all like an underground river. If I grieve more in winter did not Demeter before me? When I can't remember what it felt or smelled like to lift a sleeping baby...when I feel a widening distance from my 12 year old child, when I can't remember how to create or to whom I belong, it is winter inside.

In an opening, I can change my position: it is an exchange, not a cartoon flat on the page in which I am pinned without escape by a gravity-bound weight. This is information, this is a window, an update on the world's grief, mirrored by me in microcosm, and I am alive to feel it. It's nebulous doom is true but not the end, sharpening as it does the countering love. Light.