If you are stone, boulder,
earth, and grounding place
— then surely, I am water.
Your gravity pulls at me
centering my untamed flow.
I am a river, wild and free
–healer and witch,
mother and sorceress–
with the power to
create and destroy.
I carve your stone
with a thousand caresses,
wash and smooth to reveal
beauty in your layers–
as you yield to my love.
If you are the mountain
which does not move
—and you certainly are–
I am strength surrendered
to the weight of your love
cast into my depths.
How do I tell you
about the ache I meet
when my day begins
–about how I feel
greedy and guilty
for the hunger in me?
How do I choose
the calm expression
the smile of generosity
when you reach for
another — and I love her!
In her I recognize
my need for you
— tell me what words
make that jealousy
My fingers are smudged in color
–reds, golds, greens and blues
–like I’ve dipped my hands into
endless galaxies and wiped
a thousand stars upon my skirt.
My head is spinning with
the gravity of a dozen planets,
and I lean into the tidal pull
of at least that many moons.
When they rise across the sky–
will you raise your voice and
howl at them with me, while
a thousand shooting stars
light up the night, exploding
in the atmosphere of my flesh?
I catch sight of her
in the passing mirror.
She is not the me
I remember being there.
In your eyes, I see
you too have glimpsed her–
subtle changes that surprise,
like a stranger, staring
across a crowded room.
There’s shift in the tenor
of my own rich voice.
I have a new way
of reaching for my glass,
or for your hand.
I feel as if I’m on a test drive
in someone else’s body–
in someone else’s mind.
My heart has always been
this strong and fearless,
but not the rest of me–
until you began to push.
Now I see her, growing
stronger and more true.
I believed you, when
you said I really could.
Now I catch myself
staring at a new me.
“… whatever you desire of the world will not come to pass exactly as you will like it. But the other mercy is that whatever the world desires of you will also not come to pass. And what actually occurs is this meeting, this frontier. But it’s astonishing how much time human beings spend away from that frontier, abstracting themselves out of their bodies, out of their direct experience, and out of a deeper, broader, and wider possible future that’s waiting for them if they hold the conversation at that frontier level.”
“…one of the elemental dynamics of self-compassion is to understand our deep reluctance to be left to ourselves.”
“…we don’t get to choose so often between things we hope we can choose between.”
“Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.”
“Half of all human experience is mediated through loss and disappearance.”
– David Whyte – Excerpted from “The Conversational Nature of Reality”an On Being podcast with Krista Tippett (April 6, 2016)
“Everything is Waiting for You.”
Your great mistake — Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice
You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you courage.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
The tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything, everything, everything is waiting for you.
There is a conversation in me between comfort and pain. It’s not just the pain of sadistic / masochistic play, it’s also the pain of sorrow, of disappointment, and of separation. There is a pain in aloneness, sometimes. I both crave and resist being alone, feeling alone, and being still long enough to hear what my body, my mind and my heart are saying to me in the silence.
Lately the Universe, or the powers that be, have seen fit to give me a season of more aloneness than that with which I am entirely comfortable. I’ve been kicking against the riding crop, balking at what cannot rightly be avoided. l’ve been stubborn, depressed, at times inconsolable. l’ve been blind to what I might gain from accepting the truth and the possibility of good from an experience of change that is filled with increased aloneness, disapointment and a deep sense of loss.
I am reminded today that sorrow is waiting for me, she is my companion, here to keep me company, to help me, to sit with me and teach me, carry me, help me find myself… until her job is done. I need to welcome her, and accept that the loss I’m feeling is a part of life — unavoidable, but completely embraceable — perhaps even something to celebrate as a reason to stretch and grow.
And sorrow is not alone. There are other companions, waiting for me. So, the questions are these: ”What else keeps me company when I feel alone, and what am I missing out on,when I succumb to loneliness?” Here is an incomplete list:
There are books waiting for me. These are books that lend their voices, whisper to me of love and life, of living fully, celebrating and dancing in the sun, lying beneath the stars, gazing at the moon. These are books that remind me there are adventures to have and ideas to explore. There are my own philosophies to challenge and there is my own growth to encourage.
There are songs waiting for me. Lyrics and melodies wait patiently, to offer me comfort, commiseration, inspiration and energy. Songs wait to move me, to prompt dancing, to jump-start poetry, to trigger smiles and tears, and memories.
There are trees waiting for me. They beckon me to walk and run, to lose myself in the woods, to push and to stretch my muscles, to work and to sweat, to tire my body and quiet my mind. They offer peace, solace, connection with my own breath, and my own soul.
There are baubles and trinkets, stones and feathers, scraps of leather, paper, ribbon— so many mementos— that lie waiting for me, on tables and on shelves, in bowls and in boxes, to bring to mind, with the touch of my fingers, the truth. I am not ever, truly alone. I am surrounded by active, purposeful, deliberate love. Mementos of date nights, of personal challenges, milestones, accomplishments and anniversaries are everywhere– gathered by my own hands to surround me with their energy and meaning.
There are also beds and chairs that hold me, support my tired weight. There are shoes and cars that carry me. There are paints and brushes, ink and pens, paper and canvas that invite me to express my emotion, to create and play.
David Whyte suggests that we’d be better suited in our solitude to join the conversation that is waiting with these several companions. They each have something to say, and even, perhaps, speak to each other in conversation as well. It would be a shame if I should get so caught up in my aloneness, that I miss the stories they have to tell me, the questions they ask and answer, and the wisdom they offer. It’s time for me to engage, to find my gratitude, and to listen and speak. With these and so many other voices in my perceived isolation — truly, I am not alone.
“I am a bouquet of wildflowers and thorns, a tangle of thistle and clover, a riotous fistful of color and contradiction. I am joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, walking the earth with bare feet, trailing the dust of a billion brilliant stars from my billowing skirts. I am wind and rain. I am the dark shadows of the forest path. I am questions and answers, confidence and anxiety, earth and sky. I am wise and naive. I am girl and mother, seductress and sage, priestess and supplicant, innocent and sinner, huntress and prey. I gather to myself the beautifully broken and breathtakingly whole, the wandering and the waiting, the tribe of souls lost and found in the desert oasis I call home. I am stained by their brilliance, soaked in their passion, I am humbled by their love. I sit in their midst, singing and silent, awed and oh, so grateful.”
It’s the hour before the darkness fades
—the hour when silence yawns hungry,
wakes me from sleep, begs to be filled.
It’s not the witching hour, but the watching
as I gaze upon you while you sleep–
counting breaths and twitching fingers,
wondering what dreams spin in your head.
It’s the hour when words burst the dam,
spill out on the floor– the hour when I am
frantically mopping with sheets of paper
–to catch poetic lines before ink dries.
It’s the hour for conversation between
longing and regret, hope and fear.
–the fourth hour of the morning,
and my soul refuses to let me sleep.