Posts Tagged ‘loss of the separate self’

Treasure is a picnic
in a clearing amidst redwoods,
a black and white blanket to lie on,
a sky only blue. It’s hours to wander.
It’s the braid of conversation
between friends and the moment.
Treasure is never what we thought it was.
Once we thought we were supposed
to live perfect, unfailing lives.
Now we know treasure can look like scars.
Can emerge from the scent of burnt dreams.
Now we know treasure often arrives
only after we’ve been torn apart—
torn apart, then woven back together
with bits and strands of the world woven in,
a process that happens again and again
until we know ourselves more as the world
and less as who we thought we were.      
Sometimes, like today, the scents
of evergreen and bay weave in, too.
And the velvet of moss. And the clean
taste of water. And the heartbreak
of another who we treasure,
a heartbreak so tender,
we now feel it and grow from it
as if it is our own.

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And this is the chapter

when it just feels

too much too much

to turn on the light

and so you sit

in the dark.


This is not a myth

in which you are punished,

turned into a tree or a kingfisher—

nor is this the story

in which you discover

your own light.


No, this is the night

in which you are simply

a lifetime of tired

and unable to turn on the light.

And so it’s you

and the night.

It’s you and the night.

And then it’s just the night.


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a glimpse of bliss

knowing myself as starlit night

and wild expansiveness—

no coincidence my ego

wasn’t there to enjoy it

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in the sage meadow

I am less myself

and more sage meadow

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Inside me, the rain
is washing away
the hardened clay
of my former lives—
all those statues
that others and I
have built, see
how they erode.
Not all art endures.
The rain is blameless.
I saw a man
who’d been wrung
by storm, his eyes
as clear as rain,
his arms as open
as wind, his body
one grief and one joy.
I have spent
too much time
avoiding the rain.
I asked the man
how it felt
to be so wrung.
He said to me,

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Sometimes I wish that Emily
would come knock at my door,
and she’d be wearing white, of course,
and I would bid her in.

And then I might confess to her
as through the door she passed,
“Oh Friend! I’d say, “I’m Nobody!
We are in fact a pair!

But that would be too Somebody
of me to say, I’m sure.
So I would simply let her in
and show her to the couch.

We’d sit and drink a bit of tea.
I imagine it is black.
Would she take sugar? I don’t know.
I’d offer anyway

with cookies that I baked today
the ones with mint inside.
We’d take turns sipping at our tea
and then resting our cups.

I would be sure to not step on
long pauses when she spoke—
just waiting for the full effect
when her words land on me

as oftentimes they do these days,
as when last week I read
again the lines about one’s name,
about the tiresome bog.

I felt such longing in me then
to be a Nobody.
and thought, “You’re so right, Emily,”
But she’d hate to be named.

So when she sits across from me
I never mention how
I’ve read all of her poetry,
I never say her name.

And I don’t dream of asking her
of where she got her thoughts,
the line, for instance, with the frog
the line about the bog.

I simply say, Oh look, the sun,
it’s very nearly down.
And would you like another cup,
before the light escapes.

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