Posts Tagged ‘healing’

The child inside me is spinning. She
loves the way her skirt rises
as she twirls. She knows nothing
of the Coriolis force
that acts on objects
in motion. She knows only
that she is in motion. She knows
her skirt rises higher and whirls more
the faster she goes, and she
likes it, the way it ripples
and flows, how it swirls around
her legs in a happy yellow
froth. She likes it so much
that she spins and spins
until she is dizzy and
stumbling, spins ’til she drops
in a laughing yellow heap on
the floor. She loves her new
discovery. She is eager and
silly, alive in her body. She jumps up
and spins again. And what of the woman
with graying hair, the woman
sitting quietly in the soft green
chair. She appears still, but
what no one can see—on
the inside she spins like
a dervish, a hypnotic whirling
born of grief that helps her meet
the illusion of separation, she
spins like the earth itself is spinning, spins
while her center stays still, and
what rises is peace, flaring
around her in long white waves
and she doesn’t lose her balance, and
the laughter of fifty years ago escapes
through her lips and
ripples, amazed, through
the silence.

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Healing the Heart

Perhaps I once thought I knew
what it meant to heal—to be good as new,
to be stitched back together, unbruised,
unblemished, in no pain, repaired.
But what is healing to the heart
when it has lost a beloved?
Surely not to forget the loss happened
the way the lungs forget bronchitis.
Surely not to stop the ache
the way bones reknit and forget
the break. Surely not to shun sadness,
when sadness is the only thing
that makes sense.
Is it strange that deeply broken
is the only way now I feel whole?

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So Slowly

 I don’t know how refusal
melts away like ice in the sun,
how resistance evaporates
like a puddle, or perhaps,
let’s be honest, like a sea.
I only know that since I stopped
fighting you, grief,
there is peace in me,
even when I am weeping,
even when everything I am
feels bruised with loss,
even when I burn.
I only know since I stopped
swimming against the undertow,
I have been carried
to the most astonishing places
and I did not die.
I was given new life.
It is the only
way I can live.

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Outside it’s a blizzard,
Inside, I plant seeds
for six heads of lettuce.
I plant cherry tomatoes, yellow,
and tiny seeds of basil.
I plug in the grow lights,
add water, wait.
I’m well aware
how much growth can happen
in the most unfavorable seasons,
how sometimes when the world
feels cruel, we might yet be met
with light, warmth, care.

It brings me real joy
to plant these seeds today
while outside the wind
and snow and cold
do their wintery work.
In a week, there will be sprouts.
In a month, there will be greens.
Though they will be bitter,
they’ll be tender.
I will savor them.
I will share.

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A wake of vultures circled above us
as we sat on the porch, conversing,
their dark wings unflapping as they spiraled.
How did they know there would be carrion to devour
when my friends and I did not yet know?
The conversation began, perhaps, like most others.
Weather. Politics. Health. But as it deepened,
we spoke naked. We spoke wound. We bled fear.
We cast off ideas that no longer served us
and left them for dead.
God, they were beautiful,
the vultures as they circled,
their black wings backlit by the light.
They feasted on the scraps we left on the ground.
We emerged so light, so wildly alive.

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What I Can Offer

for S & J

I want to give you something
necessary as rain and lasting as honey,
something useful as a spoon,
something helpful as wheels.

Sometimes it feels so inadequate
to offer you a poem, a prayer,
the small light of a candle,
a hammock woven only of blessings.

Still, as you meet these difficult hours
I wish you the peace of the amber field,
wish you the rose quartz of dawn.

Because it’s what I can do, I offer you poems,
prayers, the small flame of a candle, and
a hammock of blessings woven with dark, with light.

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Though she has been shaped
by pain, she thrives.
She is like a tree, now,
that remembers its wounds
and grows differently
because of its injuries,
some of them deep,
yet is no less vigorous
as it grows new healthy wood,
as it reaches for sun,
as it grounds into the soil,
as it offers its fruit
to the world.

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Oh, the Tenderness

To be touched.
That skin language
of hand and cheek,
arm and shoulder,
that is what
I need. Words,
yes, I love them,
but what has healed me
and held me
and kept me from drought
is a palm on my arm,
a chest where my head
can rest, an embrace
that lasts until my breath
becomes slow tide
and my whole body
leans into the trunk
of the one who is holding me.
I have been held
by near strangers,
held by beloveds,
held by invisible hands.
We are, of course, spirit,
but it is the body
that makes us human,
the body that bears
the grief. To be touched.
It saves me. Each caress,
a ray of light. Each embrace,
a soft rain that seeps
into the soil of the day
and says nothing at all,
but encourages what is still here
to grow, to believe
in green, in spring.

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How the Healing Happens

Again today
I dig with my teaspoon
into the soil
of sorrow.
It is said
there is healing water
somewhere below.

Perhaps I wished
for a shovel.
Perhaps there was
no shovel to be found.
Perhaps I did find a shovel,
but the work was
too heavy, too hard.

It is not hard
to dig one teaspoon
at a time.
Anyone can do it.
The hole gets wider,
deeper. Soon
it feels like a well.
It is easy work.
It’s the hardest work
I’ve ever done.

I thirst.
Yet what heals us
is not only
the promised water.
What heals is
the work itself,
dry and slow,
one spoonful,
and another spoonful,
and another parched spoonful,
and another.

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How the Healing Comes

Healing comes less like a falcon
with mighty wings,
and more like an earthworm
that slowly, slowly moves
beneath it all, tightening up,
then stretching out, tightening up
and stretching out, a simple
two-part rhythm. Some days,
that is all the body can do.
Contract. Expand. Contract. Expand.
In the meantime, through this
artless act, what is dense
becomes porous.
In the meantime, what is stuck
and clotted gets moved around.
What is dead passes through,
is processed by the grit inside.
There are tunnels now in the soil of me,
thin channels of recovery—
a blessed loosening,
a gradual renewal. It’s unhurried, but
I feel the air, the rain,
the life coming in.

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