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Posts Tagged ‘door’


for Augusta    


There is not a shade of judgment in her voice
when my friend says to me, “You feel serious.”
Serious, I know, is a kind way to say,
There is joy all around you that you aren’t seeing.
Serious is her way of saying, Sweetheart,
I can tell you are locked into stress.
How strange and beautiful to have her name
the seriousness, and that’s all it takes
to feel my thoughts ease, to remember hands,
remember breath, remember lips.
There are, of course, good reasons today
to be serious. And there is also a tea party
with a seven-year-old girl. And yellow snapdragons
in ecstatic bloom. And a juvenile grosbeak
at the feeder. And daisies gracing the river bank.
There’s goat cheese and sauvignon blanc.
There’s waking to the purr of the cat.
Oh the gift of spaciousness. How it leaves me
astonished at life—so able to see there is more.
So simple, sometimes, when a friend
shows you a door in the day you never
could see on your own. So generous,
how she doesn’t try to offer you the key.
She just trusts you to walk up to that door,
perhaps push, perhaps see what happens next.  

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Excuse


after Naomi Shihab Nye, “Red Brocade”


I would like to think if you arrived at my door,
I would invite you in. I would ask you to sit
on the light green couch and sit down beside you.
I hope I would offer you tea with milk or honey,
let you choose which mug you like best.
I hope I would not answer the phone,
would not worry about the work not being done,
would not think of the list as it lengthened.
I hope I could sit with you and listen.
Could look you in the eye. Could notice
how the position of my body
naturally mirrors the position of yours.

But I notice how defensive I am of my time.
See how I label it mine?
Every day, I feel somehow behind.
Every night, I lament I did not find more hours
hidden inside the clock.
Is it possible meeting you is the most important item
on my list of things to do?
What would it look like if you knocked tomorrow
when I know I already have every minute planned?
Would I say, I’m sorry you’ve come such a long way.
I have too much to do today?
Or would I find any closed inner doors
and fling them wide?
Could I find the words I hope I could say:
Come in. Welcome.
Here, which mug would you like?

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Thank You




It’s not as if the door can decide:
Open. Closed. Locked. Unhinged.
The door is ever at the mercy
of the hand on the knob,
the shoulder that smashes it,
the wind that abruptly slams it shut,
the smile that swings it wide as noon.
Long ago, I learned every moment
has a door, and that those doors
never open themselves. That is why,
standing here, I am astonished
to see, through no effort of my own,
a door swing open. And how sweet
the surprise when I see
on the other side of the knob,
your hand.

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Every day, many times,
I push down the lever
that opens the door
from the room to the house,
from the house to the world.
Such a simple gesture,
grasping, then pushing,
then letting go.
Sometimes quickly,
as when I am trying
to keep the cat inside.
Sometimes slowly,
as when I am trying
to quietly enter
a room where someone else
is sleeping.
To open a door
is to move from one space
to another, perhaps a space
where dark rye bread is baking
filling the room with its midnight scent,
perhaps a space where a single
bare lightbulb is swinging,
perhaps a space filled with birdsong
or gunfire or stars or a final breath.
My whole life
I’ve been practicing
how to enter a space—
how to meet what is there
on the other side
and still be true to myself.
My whole life I’ve been opening doors,
some I immediately regretted,
though there is no going back.
The room I left is never the same
when I return,
nor am I the same.
My whole life
I’ve been opening inner doors,
always surprised to find
another, always surprised
how big the worlds are
in a space the size of me.
Every door I open
I practice how it is
to move through,
to move into, 
to offer my attention
to what is new,
perhaps a gust of wind,
a lullaby being sung,
a spacious grief or an expansive trust
I never dreamt was there.
 

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One Arriving

hiding in each day

a trap door—

hope and I fall through

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Between

with thanks to Rebecca Mullen for showing me the doors

And if a door closes

before another opens,

well, sometimes in the hall

between those doors

I find the precarious beauty

that can only be met

when I am not quite safe,

not quite certain, not quite

a self, and yet wholly here.

I’m talking deep field beauty—

a liminal beauty that refuses

to be named.

This is what it’s like

to learn to trust—

to live with one arm forward,

one arm back and feel

marvelously stretched,

the heart perilously opened,

like a sunrise, like a wing.

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we become what we love and yet remain ourselves.

Martin Heidegger

 

 

and this is how

the vessel learns

that though it’s full

there’s room for more—

those sides of us

we thought were walls

were well concealed

doors

 

 

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One Stuck

 

 

 

unable to find

a door to escape, I close

my eyes and find

I am the door

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Inspiration

 

 

 

And then one day, everywhere you look,

a door, waiting for you to open it.

In the apple tree. In the parking lot.

 

in a blade of grass. In each stone.

Not that it appeared because you are here.

More that it always existed and now

 

you can see it. In the asphalt drive.

In the dotted line. In the telephone ring.

In the scent of lemon. And every door

 

a world you might choose to enter.

Kiss on the neck. Cloudy sky.

Magpie wing. News headline.

 

You can’t possibly enter them all.

Button hole. Rising bread.

Sometimes you can go back

 

and the door will still open. Sometimes,

even on the most familiar path,

you can never go back again.

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If I prayed, which I don’t,
then we could say that I asked
god to open every door that I
had shut, every door I did not
know was there.
Why I asked this, well,
this will make sense to you
or it won’t, but every closed
door I was aware of
had became a point of suffering.
And with every open door,
I could feel congruence,
the world rushing in to create
more space in me.
And god said to me, though
we could not say that it was a voice,
god said, Open even the door with people jeering
on the other side, their faces twisted
in hate? Even the door to an entire
forest of sorrow? And because
this conversation was not really
happening, we could not say that
I said yes to the questions, but
we could say, perhaps, that
the yes began to root in me
and it was not so much a matter
of someone opening the doors
but that the doors more or less
dissolved. And what I had thought
could separate me from anything else
was shown to be nothing at all.
I would like to tell you that I felt grace
in the opening, but the truth
is I felt such terrible ache.
And god did not come put a hand
on my cheek and tell me
everything would be okay.
In fact, if anything, the voice
I did not hear told me
there are no promises.
But I felt it, the invitation
to keep opening doors,
to not close my eyes,
to not turn away.
And though I do not pray,
I said thank you, thank you.

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