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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

Winter Evening

Though I sit alone

on my couch at home,

I’m somehow also sitting

with Rachel and Julie

and it’s summer and

we’re laughing, laughing

until we tumble

into each other’s laps,

laughing as we collapse

into a puppy pile of giggles,

laughing because it feels

so good to laugh—

even now I laugh aloud

with no memory of why

we were laughing then,

but many years later,

it’s still contagious.

Sometimes we tumble

so wholly into the grace

of a moment

that it opens in us forever,

continuously blooms

and spreads its perfume

like night-blooming jasmine,

christens everything

with its fragrance,

even this empty room,

even this tired woman

now so surprisingly awake.

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Surrender

 

IMG_0376_1

Some mornings I wake and the peace

that I tried to find yesterday finds me—

arrives in the open palms of the river scent,

in the erratic path of the warbler,

in the low golden angle of sun as it slants

through the gray knuckled branches of cottonwood trees.

Even the broken watering can seems to bring me

news of what’s been here all along—

the peace that holds up the turmoil, the mess.

And the dried grasses in the field

and the tiny new leaves on the currants

gather me into them. They’re like old friends who say,

It’s okay, make all the mistakes you want

around us. Some mornings, through no effort

of our own, we are gathered into the peace

of the patient lichen and the still pond.

It’s the difference between breathing

and being breathed, between asking for grace

and finding that grace has been asking for us.

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The Inner Cupboard

 

 

 

No one else knows, as they eat the bread,

what’s been slipped into it,

how in with the flour, the yeast, the salt,

 

a stubborn devotion has slipped in.

It hides in an inner cupboard. Even the baker

doesn’t have the key. But when

 

she would rather not be loving—

because she is tired, because

she feels wronged, because she’s distracted—

 

that’s when the cupboard opens itself

and mixes into her the kind of devotion

that cannot be manufactured, the kind

 

of devotion that rises up not out of duty

but from some mysterious, infinite source

that guides her hands as they knead

 

the soft dough. It infuses her with a longing

to be big-hearted, a longing to love, even when love

feels unreasonable. She can smell it

 

as it fills the whole house with its generous

scent. Even now, as they sit and eat the bread,

it astonishes her, how ferocious

 

this drive to nourish, to love.

They pass the butter, the jam. She smiles

as they eat it together, slice after slice.

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Grace

 

 

 

After all these years of falling, falling,

terrified of my own weight, terrified

of gravity, after all these years of dropping

through the sky, through all these fears

of not good enough, certain I will crash,

I will die, I find myself now wearing

a great white parachute that appeared

as if I were dreaming, to save me.

 

After all these years harnessed only to fear,

I land gently, as if on a flat green lawn.

And I’m not just safe, I’m smiling.

I try to reason it logically: Air resistance

with a chute is greater than gravity.

But there is no logic here. How

did the parachute appear? I

didn’t even ask to be saved. Here I am,

good enough, two feet on the ground.

After years and years of falling,

I’m okay. I’m wildly okay.

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And maybe

though there

is no floor

you find

the grace

in falling—

after all

those years

of baby

steps, with

one plunge

you’re

evolving

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listen as your days unfold
Challenge what your future holds

            —Patti Austin, “You Gotta Be”

 

 

And if I could

I’d scatter all the seeds

of grace, release

them from their old dry pods

and let them fall

in tired places—

like your heart,

my heart.

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Grace

 

 

 

Though the world is dented and dinged

and scuffed and scorned,

we trim the beans and peel the potatoes,

and the kitchen is warm and full

of laughter. We hum as we work

and break into scraps of song.

All day our hands are joyful

as they prepare the meal to come.

There are wars and battles even now,

not all of them fought with guns,

some waged intimately in our thoughts,

our scraped up hearts. And still,

this scent of apple pie, sweetening

as it bakes, this inner insistence

that love is not only possible,

it is every bit as real as our fear.

Whether the host has brought

out his best wine and his best crystal glasses

or water in chipped clay cups,

there is every reason

to be generous, to serve not only

our family, our friends, ourselves,

but also those we don’t yet know how to love

and those parts of ourselves we

have tried to keep separate.

Tonight the host has hidden bait

in the dinner—we all are caught.

Scent of sage, scent of mushrooms

and cream. The bite of cranberry.

Never mind the potatoes cooked too long.

Blessings seep into all the imperfect places,

even if you can’t name the blessings—

consider them secret ingredients.

The point is not to understand the feast,

but to eat, to eat it together.

 

 

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One Self Portrait

 

 

 

the house on fire

and me still trying

to get all the beds made

 

*

 

One Grace

 

what is the next step—

letting myself not know

until I am stepping

 

 

 

 

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In the manger of my heart

 

 

 

there in the muddle

where I do my best

to keep it swept

but it gets messed up

every day anyway,

there amidst

the drafts

and the animal chorus

something new

and beautiful

is being born—

not because

I prayed for it,

not because

I am worthy,

only because

that is how

miracles work—

sometimes

by grace

we peek through

the cracks in the walls

and see just

how light

even the messiest

places

can be.

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Two Unsuspectings

setting a trap

with honey, catching

myself

*

this song

of relentless yesses

a set up for grace

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