Posts Tagged ‘embodiment’

with thanks to Joi Sharp

There’s a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, “Why on our hearts, and not in them?” The rabbi answered, “Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your heart, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.

―Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Again today I rest my hand above my heart
and feel how naturally the body softens,
how simple it is in this moment to forgive
myself for thinking I should be anything
but what I am. Hello air that fills
this body. Hello life that pulses through.
Hello mystery of gentling. Hello self
who would resist. I rest my hand
above my heart and think of how
for many years my teacher laid
her teachings exactly there—
placed them right where my hand is now
so that when my heart broke,
the teachings fell in, just as the Rabbi
once said they would.
I think of how it saved me, this falling in,
how in that terrible breaking moment,
what had been understood only by the head
became blood, became breath,
became every step, every unstep,
became nerve, became bone,
became true.
I rest my hand above my heart
and feel how this, too, is the tenderest of teachings—
to say yes to the body, to ask nothing of it,
to feel in the palm the miracle of heart beat,
and fall in, fall all the way in.  

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Beyond Words

for Daisy

And though I expect the bride
to say I do, I don’t expect her
to say it with such sweet candor,
both syllables thrumming as if
they each have a heartbeat of their own.
I do, she trills, thrilling in the promise
to have, to hold,
to love from this day forward.
Her voice is a meadowlark,
a bright flush of wing and song,
and what can I do but laugh
and weep into that golden moment
when I and the others gathered
know ourselves not just as witnesses
but as the lucky wind
that touches such beauty
then lifts it up for the world to see.  

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Getting Messy

I like when

your eyes haze

with mystery

so I know myself

more sculpturally

and remember

how to brow,

how to jowl,

how to cheek.

I like when

we lip,

more smear

less line,

when we belief

less tidy,

more smudge

more shine.

I love when we

smile through

shadowy mess—

when we face

less certain,

more suggest.

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