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Posts Tagged ‘dark’




Long after our eyes adjusted
to the small, round beams of light
that shined on thick white columns
and reflected the rings of drips into shallow pools,
after we’d become accustomed
to the resonant dim,
at last we found a place to sit
and turned off our lights
and listened to the dark.
The only sound, the astonished heart,
persistent breath, and the drip,
drip, drip of stalactites doing their patient work.
How I longed to bring us all
into the cave where we are forced to forget
any differences the light might suggest.
How I loved the way my senses stretched out
to feel the other beating hearts.
Imagine we could do this every night—
could feel the other hearts in the dark,
all of them beating like our own.
Imagine no storms could touch us.
Imagine we forgot it could ever be any other way—
your heart, my heart, beating wild,
listening for each other.

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Sometimes, when I fear
the small light I bring
isn’t big enough or bright
enough, I think of that night
on the beach years ago
when every step I took
in the cool wet sand turned
a glowing, iridescent blue—
and the waves themselves
were a flashing greenish hue—
imagine we could do
what 7.9 billion
one-celled can plankton do—
can shine when it’s dark,
can shine when agitated,
can shine with our own
inner light and trust when we all
bring the tiny light we have,
it’s enough to illumine the next step
in the long stretch of night.
 
 
 
 

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Tonight I fall in love with the mirliton
in the blue and white tutu—the way
she leaps, the way she angles her arm.
Not that I didn’t love her before
when she was a soldier, when she
was a snowflake, when she was a bon bon
or an angel in frothy white fluff. But tonight,
more than anything, it is her smile
that makes me weep in row H.
Because it is real, her joy in the chassé,
the grande jeté, the pas de bourrée.
Because her joy is my joy. Because
I know what she’s danced through
to get to this stage where that smile
spreads across her face like the sunrise
the first morning after winter solstice—
an essential, growing light aware of the dark,
just learning what it can do.

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Don’t even try to be strong.
            —Salli Russell


There are some who, when
they turn toward the light
become the light. But we know,
too, the power of turning
toward despair, toward
heartache, toward grief,
toward loss, toward defenselessness,
a journey in a minor key,
and this, too, is an invitation
to lean in and open until,
informed by the darkness,
we find ourselves shining,
luminous from within.

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But I found myself
rigid in the room where my son
took his life. And I sat
on the floor in the doorway
where he had last sat,
where his blood had pooled
and the air had briefly smelled
of burning. I sat there
beneath the wall
where the bullet had made
its narrow hole. I sat there
with my coil of sorrow.
I didn’t want to meet it.
I desperately wanted to meet it.
I wanted to give sorrow space.
I wanted to crawl inside it.
I wanted to be anywhere
but there on the dark wood floor
in the night dark room,
and I wanted to be wholly,
completely, obliteratingly there.
Fear-ridden, ferocious,I met it all,
felt the current pushing through.
Acceptance is a filament
that takes our resistance
and makes it bright,
makes it luminous enough
that we might see ourselves
exactly as we are.
I did not find my son
in that doorway. Perhaps
I had hoped I would.
But I saw the light
that came with me.
I softened into that light.

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Adjusting to the Change




Just today I didn’t make you
a cup of chai—did not stir
in the dark clover honey,
did not warm the soy milk,
did not bring you the cup
with red flowers, the one
we got in Finland all those
years ago when we couldn’t
sleep with all that light—

instead I pour myself
into the black of morning.
There is sweetness here
in these quiet, predawn hours,
a vastness no cup could ever contain.
I want to serve it to you,
though I sense, love,
it is you serving it to me.

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We lie in the dark
and speak about anything
but what I ache to speak about.
Some part of me longs
to find the words like search lights
that will help us find
what we don’t yet know
we are looking for.
Or a black light
that might help us see
what is valuable right here,
but invisible to our ordinary eyes.
I try to infuse my words
with candlelight, but somehow
even this feels too brash,
too aggressive, and so
we lie in the dark
and I let the moon
do all the talking,
oh waning crescent,
you know when to shine,
when to simply be held
by the dark.

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Wild Iris


 
 
From a handful of wild iris
planted years ago,
dozens of slender spears
and stems now rise beside the pond—
their pale purple flags
wave in allegiance to spring
and each other.
They know how to grow
not just up but to the side,
how to send out lateral roots
that will someday be new blooms.
Old friends are like rhizomes—
connected by invisible roots,
resilient, perceiving the light as good,
but knowing, too, how essential
to grow through the dark.

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The Empty Dark

Answers don’t arrive if you’re afraid of sitting in the empty dark room of not knowing by yourself long enough for them to arrive on their own schedule. 

—Michael Thelen

Oh let me, too, be willing to sit in the empty dark

and let the darkness enter me.

Let me not pretend to know how it will be.

Let me lose my plans, though it terrifies me.

Let me not imagine any better time

to practice than now.

Let me be the bowl that sings when touched,

the bowl that is content with its own stillness.

If I want answers, let me sit with my longing.

If I want lessons, let me find them right here.

And if it is dark, let me not run from the dark,

but lean into it. And if it is light,

let me long for the light. Let it enter me.

Let me not pretend to know how it will be.

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A Change in the Light

 

 

 

Now while the moon

is hiding behind the clouds

now when the rain

is falling midwinter,

and now that they’ve told us

not to hug or kiss each other

for fear of contracting

and spreading disease,

yes now is the time to find

whatever light we have

been hiding inside us—

whatever measure of brilliance

we’ve managed to conceal

from each other, from ourselves—

now is the time to bring forth

that luminescence and offer it

freely to the world, now

when light matters most.

 

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