Wednesday, December 7, 2016

So many angels

So many angels in our lives — the doctor, the mailman,
the cashier, the bell-ringer, the child, the parent, the friend, the adversary,
the barber, the field hand, the writer, the artist, the nurse,
all creatures wild and tame, rocks, waterfalls, deserts,
trees — there when we need them, sweet mist
when we don’t — and suddenly,
that moment we realize
we are angels

and that each time we meet,
in flesh, in pixel,
in print,

we are on a timeless mission,
in the right place, in the right moment,
and that there is no way and no need to resist,

O dear ones, our innocence.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Canvas 801

Canvas 801

December 6, 2016

I found a poem with leaves

I found a poem with leaves where commas might have been,
or so I thought, until I read the limbs, which suggested deeper roots,
with patient influence, like my grandmother’s handmade quilt,
and so I read and read and read, and warmed my knees
with the voices of her hometown Swedish friends
just as the snow began to fall, their breath
my life her hands your love
so pleased to praise
and sing
it all.

Monday, December 5, 2016

That little bit I say

That little bit I say before it gives way
beneath its own weight,

and the icy wind upon the face
of the statue I’ve become

in this garden
of wonder,

O dear one,

grace alone
can make the blood run,

love erase the trace of stone
and free the dove

I once was
winging home

before more words were spoken.

just enough snow

just enough snow on her limbs

to make the light dance

of words

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Canvas 796

Canvas 796

November 30, 2016

How do you feel?

If you are feeling helpless, angry, powerful, righteous, superior, inferior, empty, bitter, or fearful about the future, look to your daily life. Everything you need to know is there, in the form of the same tired thoughts and the huge amount of energy they consume, in your useless and unnecessary acquisitions, in your table barren of simple wholesome nourishment and absent of guests, in your drab or gaudy walls, in the averted glance of your neighbor, in the competitive nature of your conversation and business dealings, and finally in your looking to others as the cause of your unhappiness and lack of joy in your life. Each is a source of conflict, nervousness, exhaustion, and discontent, and, if not understood, illness in its deceptive, myriad forms.

It is not a question of rich or poor. If you are breathing, and can read this (on the internet, no less!), then you are your own revolution. Revolution is not millions of people rising up and exchanging one leader for another, one system for another, only to start the same disappointing, bloody process over again. Revolution is what you do, now, this moment, whether you are alone in your room or waiting in line at the grocery store.

The choice is obvious and clear. You are not only what you eat, but what you think, speak, and do. A simple, sane, calm, helpful act has infinite range in this world. By setting it in motion, you become the proverbial pebble in this miraculous pond, this magical life that we are only beginning to understand. The same can be said of your negative actions, those intended to hurt others, those meant to show how right and intelligent you think you are, even when you are missing the point entirely and society and family is collapsing around you. They too have an infinite range, and, as sure you as live, will come back to haunt you. The truth is, you are living with them now.

The solution? There is none. And that is the beauty of being alive. There is no road to take, no direction, no answer. Time does not exist. It can not help you or hinder you. There is no great rule to live by. There is only opportunity. You can make the leap. You can make something beautiful. You can be irresistible, and irresistibly in love with this life. You can extend an open hand. You can smile, you can forgive, you can let go, you can breathe deeply, you can understand the tragedy that others are living without sinking into despair, you can be the dear child, the wise parent, the tender grandparent, the faithful friend, the steady companion, and the unselfish helpmate all in one. But not by waiting. Not by pressing buttons and shouting and denouncing those whom you have consciously or unconsciously placed in charge. They cannot hear you. They are you. You must hear yourself. If you cannot take the simplest step in alleviating the pain of someone who is near, or share in their joy, then you must see the absurdity in condemning and blaming others. There are no others. That very concept is a mirage. The closer you come, the farther away it is, and in the end, you die with a mouthful of sand.

And that is the end of this letter. Or is it the beginning, dear friend?