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Posts Tagged ‘Joi Sharp’

The Path of Love


            with gratitude to Jude Janett and Joi Sharp
 
 
And here I thought the path of love
would look like love. Like kindness.
Like generosity. Like gentleness.
 
Instead it looks like me being bothered
by the sound of loud chewing. Me
wanting praise. Me needing to feel
 
loved. Hello me. How elegantly love
has arranged for me to meet
all the parts of me that would stand
 
in love’s way. How easily
it shows me I’ve thought of love
as a destination. But here is love
 
with no expectation. Here is love
with no name, no locus. Here
is love with no face, no shape, no
 
promise, no vow, no hope.
Here is love as itself, surging
and flowing, love as itself insisting
 
on love, love as itself eroding
all those layers of me that still
think they know something about love
 
(and love holds me while I rail
and love throws me back in the stream
and love is what is still here when I am not).
   

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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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This is the path of failure. We see that our definition of success is what is not working. What is working is deep, unseen. —Joi Sharp

 

 

Even a small discontent is enough to shut us down,

convince us that the world is cold and indifferent.

Everywhere there’s evidence of this: The slush

 

that falls on your car seat when you open the car door.

The carrion eaters with their great black wings

that linger beside the road. You pray for sun,

 

and it gets darker. Someone asks

you a question, and you see your whole life

fold into one small envelope of failure.

 

Then one day you hit against the same

impassable wall you always hit and this time you fall

to your knees, not because you are weak,

 

but because at last you are ready to be opened.

Oh sweet failure, how it leads us.

Any unhappy ending is only an invitation

 

to crawl into the blank pages

of the next unwritten chapter.

It was never success that transformed us—

 

always the breaking. Not the breaking itself,

but the mystery inside pushing through us

like bindweed through pavement

 

making cracks in everything

we think we know so that the world

can come streaming in.

 

 

 

 

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You should long for the truth like a drowning man longs for air.
—Amma

Laying face down in a puddle,
a woman might think
she is drowning.
She could, in fact,
drown, though anyone
around her can see
all she need do
is roll over.

How many puddles
have we lain in,
lips to the pavement,
eyes closed, feeling
the million points
of panic rising in our lungs,
shrugging off the hands
that would help us,
caught in the drama
of our own doom,
flailing, thrashing.
drowning.

What saves us,
even if we manage
to roll onto our backs,
is never ourselves
but the air rushing in
to fill us, the air rushing in
as if it longs for us
the way we long for it.

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