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Posts Tagged ‘path’

No Regret




Some moments are flame.
There was a time
I wanted a promise
we would not burn.
Now I give myself to the blaze
knowing the burn
is part of the path,
knowing that matter
dances best
once it’s ash.

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Compass




Every day we become
the self we once tried to imagine
but couldn’t. Though we planned
future paths. Though we trained.
Though we took steps. Nothing
can stop us from becoming
exactly who we are. Sometimes
I see them, the ghosts
of the women I thought I would be—
I pass them in the airport or
see them in restaurants.
Can they see me, too?
I did not know, when I imagined them,
how the path that would come to matter most
would be the path that has heart.
I still can’t see the woman
I will become. But I know how
to find her.

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            with thanks to Joi Sharp


When my teacher told me
Everything we love can
and will be taken from us,

I did not know how she
was preparing in me
a synaptic path.

I understood her words
in the way one understands a journey
by reading a map.

Now, ten years later, with every breath
I travel this path of loss
as so many others have before me,

and yet there is no trail, no signposts,
no destination, and the path changes direction
from moment to moment.

But the path does not feel foreign.
Every turn of it is paved with truth—
Everything we love can and will be taken from us.

Those words now offer
the strange comfort of prophecy
as I wander these trails of impermanence,

stunned with gratitude even as I weep,
alive with loving what doesn’t last,
astonished by the enormity of love—

how love is the red thread that pulls us through,
not a thread to follow,
but a guide that never, ever leaves the path.

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Respite



The day
passed
from wing
to wing,
a bright
and feathered
offering,
a path
paved
in wordless
song,
and
fear
forgot
to tag
along.

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An electrical current
knows nothing of the path
it will take. It goes on all paths,
but flows best toward
where it flows best.

It sounds so simple,
and yet the electrons of this body,
charged with my beliefs,
defy nature and rush toward resistance.

How often I try to fight myself.
How often I battle my own current,
the current of the world—
it’s like wading through honey instead of water,
this thinking I know best.

Sometimes, I see how my own resistance
is nothing but a part of the path.
In that moment, I flow toward where I flow best.
In that moment I am copper, ductile, tough,
In that moment, I am so alive with it, the buzz.

published in ONE ART: A journal of poetry

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This longing to get it right—
to not only find the right path
but to walk it with grace,
without stalling, without stumbling.
 
But the forest is dark and deep
and the paths are many—
and I fall, and in falling,
I stop.
 
So this is what it takes
to notice the beauty of being still,
to see how staying in place, too, is a path,
how falling, too, is a grace.
 
How much easier it is to walk now
when I trust any path I’m on is the right one,
even this one where I fall,
even this one when I don’t move at all.
 
 
 

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Momentum

Only after I step one foot over the cliff
do I realize the drop is so deep
and the pool in the river below so small
 
that the chances of hitting the water at all
seem infinitesimal.
I thought nothing could stop me from my course,
 
but seeing the rocks so far below
and knowing how likely it is I would hit them,
now I stand one foot on the desperate edge.
 
The other foot, free as a prophecy, hovers in the air.

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The Path of Love

(If you are looking for the poem that Tara Brach read in her meditation, it is called “The Question” and you can find it here)

            with gratitude to Jude Jordan Kalush 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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Advice to Self: Get Lost

To move forward, move forward.

But first, get lost.

Really lost. If you have a map,

burn it. Not that there’s

anything wrong with a map.

But you must recalibrate

the one using it. Let her not know

where she is. And if she does know,

perhaps through rote,

perhaps through muscle memory,

then spin her around

with a blindfold on,

the way kids do when pinning

a paper tail on a donkey.

Spin her until she has no idea

which direction to walk with that tail.

Spin her until she falls.

And then let her do as St. Francis taught—

let step in whatever direction

her head is pointing.

Let her trust that any direction she steps

can be the right way forward,

every path can be a path toward love.

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Stubborn

When the brain is separated from the heart, it is capable of doing terrible things to each other and the planet.

—Jane Goodall

And so I try to tend the path each day

between brain and heart.

Whatever smallnesses I trip on,

I try to remember to bow as I remove them.

Whatever weeds try to overrun it—

weeds of should and shame—

I try to yank them out, knowing full well

I never get the whole root.

The more I travel the path,

the easier it is—

though steep sometimes,

and the effort to go on

makes me weep.

And sometimes, it feels unfamiliar,

though I’m sure I’ve travelled this way before.

Frightened, lost, tired, exposed—

yet I try to find and preserve the path.

Because the stakes are too high

when the path is gone.

Because the healing is so great

when I honor the path

step by stubborn step.

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