Posts Tagged ‘invitation’

The Invitation

Two nights after he died,
all night I heard the same
one-line story on repeat:
I am the woman whose son
took his life. The words
felt full of self-pity,
filled me with hopelessness, doom.
And then a voice came,
a woman’s voice, just before dawn,
and it gave me a new shade of truth:
I am the woman who learns
how to love him now that he’s gone.
It did not change the facts,
but it changed everything
about how I met the facts.
Over a hundred days later,
I am still learning what it means
to love him—how love is
an ocean, a wildfire, a crumb;
how commitment to love changes me,
changes everyone,
invites us to bring our best.
Love is wine, is trampoline,
is an infinite song with a chorus
in which I am sung.
I am the woman who learns
how to love him now that he’s gone.
May I always be learning how to love—
like a cave. Like a rough-legged hawk.
Like a sun.

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In the dark, we follow
the wail of live jazz
till at last we discover
the trio playing
on the street corner.

Not all invitations
to fall in love with life
are this easy to follow—
just turn the corner,
walk a few blocks,
then find a place to linger.

But tonight, the invitation
is so clear: to be led by the music
of the moment, to listen
with the silence inside.

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Perhaps Next Time



Vast and powerful,

the invitation

like a sea

with a surf

and unknowable tides—


I do not want to stay

on the shores

of my life.

I want to run headlong

into the waves,

to feel myself buoyed

and challenged,

to know myself

as one who risks,

who emerges


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What wants to happen?

            —Joi Sharp



Today it is the tow truck

that leads me back to myself.

For though I call the driver

and though I receive

a text that says he is coming

and though I have paid

my AAA bill on time, the tow

truck does not arrive.

Though I did everything right.

Though the same actions have worked before.

Still the world has not turned out

the way I expected, the way

I want it to. The car

is still stranded. The tow truck

is still not here. Oh failure,

how clearly it shows my attachment

to outcome. How clearly it

shows me the world is in charge.

I look for more doors to knock on,

try to plan more ways to control.

Meanwhile, I am the door.

Meanwhile, this chance

to let go.

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You Are Invited



Today, a party, and the whole world

is invited. No written invitations,

but the occasion? It’s Wednesday.

And here we are, all of us, in the same place

at the same time. Might as well

get to know the person standing

next to you—learn their name,

shake their hand, discover

all you have in common—

the party goes on tomorrow, too.

Bring your own. Bring something

to share. No RSVP, just show up.

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Today it was the puddle

that woke up my heart,

the way it received the sky


and remade it in smeary mirrors

of grays beneath my feet.

How at first, I tried so hard to avoid it,


and then, once my feet were wet,

I could see it only as a way to play,

an invitation for joy. To splash


in the clouds. To splash for the pleasure

of splashing. To splash until

I could no longer recognize her, that part


of me who longed to stay safe, stay dry.

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With Any Luck




Meet me in summer

when the mountains

are softened by fields

of blue lupine

and the creeks run clear

with the memory of snow.

With any luck,

we’ll get lost until

we, too, begin to bloom,

until whatever is cold in us

melts and races away

with a bright and bubbling laugh.

There are days we forget

how to make a fist,

how to speak any language

but praise. Meet me

in summer when the old

high trails are open—

what else might we find

behind the crumbling

mines—some share

of ourselves we’ve yet

to have met—something

so spacious we never

dreamt it would fit

inside our skin.

With any luck,

it will follow us home.


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One Invitation

same moon, same stars,

same chance to believe it’s the best

night of my life

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When there is nothing left to say
please come and find me then.
We’ll stroll in golden fields all day
when there is nothing left to say—
we’ll reunite in other ways,
bouquets of touch and listening hands.
Hush, there is nothing left to say.
Please come and find me, then.

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two haikulings inspired by Rumi’s Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

over the edge
making the last step
with no feet

(Divan xxxv)


that departure drum–
how easily I slip its beat
into my dream

(Divan xxxvi)

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