It was a weekend for lovers and my secret paramour (life itself) stole into town under the cover of grey skies. After a drink Friday night and long discussions of old friends, Jung, and the nature of the soul, we fell exhausted into each others’ arms, our hearts full and our eyes drooping with jewels of possibility. Saturday morning, we lingered in bed, sipping poetry and snacking on sunlight. And on a long walk through town, we held hands and remarked on the novelties of the season. At the end of the path, where the mountains allow only the lonely to pass, the Universe gently touched my shoulder and said, “Look there,” motioning towards the heavens. The sky was so blue that I felt I could fall forever upwards into it. As if just by tilting my head back and uncurling my toes, I would tumble, weightless,  elbows over ears over shoelaces into the blue beyond the blue, all of my defenses spooling out behind me like pink petals from a wind-blown crab apple tree. That night, again sweet surprises–the Universe offered to make dinner but he overcooked the vegetables and I spilled the beer–faults quickly forgotten when he began singing melancholy tunes of tragedy and triumph and I became soft and sentimental, despite myself. Secretly, I vowed to stop being so coy and thank him for all of the ways he opens my heart but, that night, I fell asleep before I reached the end of the list. Sunday morning, no words were spoken. None were needed. We gazed out the window, occasionally glancing contentedly into each other’s eyes, wanting neither to break the spell nor to get ahead of ourselves. As I shrugged into a new shirt of delicate design (bought just to please him), I felt suddenly younger and prettier, as if the color blue were made just for me and kisses invented simply for my amusement. After noon, we parted ways for a time–him to make some phone calls, me to take out the recycling and give the dog a bath. Alone but with a full heart, I worked to massage warm water, shampoo, and every bit of love I have been given into my aging dog’s body, hoping that he could know like I do that, in the end, everything will be all right .

Much love to you my friends. I hope spring brings you many wonderful things.

On Praying

A few months ago, I decided to tackle learning all of the names of God by praying or meditating on each one, in turn. Now, seeing as how Hindusim has about 300 million known manifestations of the divine, Islam has the 99 names for God, and Judaism has 10 sefirot (attributes), and that’s not even getting into the Greek or Roman pantheon, I figure I better get cracking. You are probably thinking, “Why in God’s name would I want to do such a thing?” (pun intended;). But if you ask “why” you won’t get t the answer you really want. So, I’ll pretend you asked me “how” instead and let my gut, rather than my mind, take a whack at responding.

I write to digest. So, don’t feel obliged to take this journey down my gullet and out my ass.

A Prayer for Today and Everyday

I was combing through my books of poetry and came across this one again. Usually, I revel in it with an eagerness to share the wonder of being alive. But, today, there’s a harder edge to it, because, rather than an affirmation, it is a thorny reminder–a reminder of what I hold dear, a reminder that living with integrity to these principles is not just celebration but also slow, painstaking work, a reminder that rising above does not mean ignorning my needs, a reminder that there is nothing else but this.

School Prayer by Diane Ackerman

Forgive the Dream

Thesis. Day 1.

So, here it is. I’m ready. I think. I better be. It feels like I have a row of carrots all lined up, dangling in front of me, trying to get me to finish my thesis. And the irony and perfect symmetry and timing of my situation has not escaped my notice. Here I am, finally putting into print my big letter of heartache to the world that I’ve been trying to compose for almost 37 years. Me, whose loneliness often seemed so complete that I just eventually came to assume that it was who I was, it was a natural part of my destiny–I’ve evened ached for the option to just join a monastery or something like it so that I could get inevitability over with. And now I’ve just met someone that I so far feel so evenly matched and complimented by, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually, that I have to wonder if I’m standing here holding an empty bag of amusing ideas.

Jeeez, I really hesitate to put that last sentence out there. Shit. I don’t want to tempt fate to prove me hopelessly, embarrassingly delusion. But, then again, I am nothing if–and this thesis will be a waste of words if–I am not willing to make myself vulnerable and make my humanity accessible. Starting right now. So, let me take off the hat I walked in with, the one that is tall and square and hides in it a full toolbox of authoritative, condescending explicatives. Let me hang it on the hook by the door. Instead, if I don anything on my bare head for the next 4 weeks, let it be a scarf that I can use in moments of soft, undefended humility and reverance.

Let me have hopes, however fanstastic. Let me undress myself of structure, objectivity, and sound predictions, and instead roll naked through poetry. And, here’s the hardest one of all … let me expect your patience, generous leeway, and forgiveness.

Forgive the Dream … by Hafiz