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Posts Tagged ‘self’




Sometimes
in the silence
between
the small talk
a whole life
is lived—
a life
in which
you are
exactly
yourself
only more so,
a self without
name, a self
of no
where, a
self unselved,
which
is to say
that sometimes
in the silence
of a minute
you find
some vision
so vast
so true
that you weep
before saying,
And how are you?

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Happy Birth Day

Happy Birth Day

Each morning, this chance

to birth again the self—

to push it through

the canal of dream,

this chance to open

through the center

and let the new self emerge,

to marvel as it appears,

glistening with potential.

Of course the new self cries.

It needs to be warmed,

nourished, held.

Imagine what it’s like

to be that new—

to not believe any thought,

to not assume any thing.

Imagine what it’s like

to be that attentive,

that vulnerable.

Self, can you meet

each day

like that? Like that.

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There

Digging

deeper

into the soil

of self

planting

only

seeds

of you.

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Every morning I walk into the garden,

even when there is little to see—only rows

of tiny sprouts and the earth just beginning to crack.

It is not so much that I speak to the seedlings,

though I do—to the slender green lashes

of carrots and the heart-shaped leaves of beans.

It is more that they speak to me in syllables

I feel through my fingers—speak of resilience

and tenderness, speak of the dark and beautiful

earth. There are so many days when I worry

that I am not doing enough—worry

that I could be more kind, more generous,

more loving, more vocal, more good.

But in the garden, pulling bindweed

and clover and salsify from the mostly empty rows,

all of my brokenness feels less broken.

It is somehow easier to forgive myself

for being who I am. And to mean it.

Easier to know myself as one of many.

Easier to believe that like the potato greens

I have so much more to offer that

can’t yet be seen, but it’s growing,

surely, deep in the darkness, it’s growing.

 

 

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IMG_3560

 

 

Tonight I can laugh at the part of me

who thinks she should know

the right thing to do, the right thing to say.

 

Meanwhile, the rest of me

wakes up each morning in wonder,

marveling at the quickly changing world.

 

Every morning this second self practices

how to bathe, how to dress. Even now she is practicing

how to write a poem, how to make breakfast,

 

what to say to her friends, family, herself.

She knows there are so many ways to do it right.

Every moment contains invitations

 

she’s never noticed before. Sometimes

she practices saying nothing at all.

If you see her lingering beside the road,

 

it is because she is practicing how to walk

how to see. She used to know, of course,

but now she can’t seem to take anything

 

for granted, how to drink tea,

how to walk into a room, it’s all new,

how to weep, how to smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_6030

Dear Other Version of Myself,

 

In my calendar, it’s April second

and you are going to an event tonight

at a bookstore in another town

where the people will gather

and hug each other and taste

each other’s wine. You live in a world

that no longer exists, and every day

I try to reconcile it—how you

had plans to go camping next weekend,

how you were going to go to the theater

with no mask, no gloves,

no sense of your body as a weapon.

 

Every day, your life, which once was my life,

seems increasingly impossible.

Every day, these two worlds are farther apart—

the one in which you were getting on a plane

to visit your mother

and the one in which I put on rubber gloves

to go to the post office box.

I remember how seldom you washed

your hands for fear that someone you love

would die. I remember what it was like

to hug my friends with no worry

of harming them, to go to a restaurant,

to plan for a day past tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And once again the invitation

to see beyond the self—

the way water knows itself

not only as river and lake

but also as fern, as cloud, as cat.

Forgive me for believing

I end with this skin, these ideas,

these imaginings. Sometimes

I forget to choose vastness,

forget to know the self

as cliff, as maitake, as crumb.

How is it I so often miss the invitation?

How is it I overlook that I

am lemon, asteroid, wren?

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Less

 

 

Today I can see how I wear it

like a velvet dress, the dream

 

of wanting to be somebody.

It’s so easy to forget I am wearing it.

 

Because it is lovely. Because

it feels good. But life

 

hands me a hanger and asks me

to take off the dress

 

and move naked today

through my inner rooms.

 

It’s not as if anyone else can see,

but I notice, as I must,

 

how much easier it is now to know

the self as sunrise, as apple seed,

 

as cinnamon, as you.

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Big

This is, perhaps, the year to learn to be big.

Spruce tree big. Cliffside big. Big as mesa,

as mountain lake. Big as in cosmos, as in love.

Being small has never served me—constricting,

contorting, trying to fit into a room, into shoes,

into a name. Let this be the year to escape all those little

rules with those little shoulds, all those little

cages with their little locks. Time to make of myself

a key, time to lean into immensity. Time to supersize

communion, time to grow beyond self. Time to

open, to unwall, to do as the universe does,

accelerating as it expands, not rushing toward

something else, but changing the scale of space itself.

This is the year to be big .

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for it is not so much to know the self   

as to know it as it is known

   by galaxy and cedar cone

—A.R. Ammons, “Gravelly Run”

 

I want to know the self

the way a nest might know

the eggs it holds, the way

a feather might know a wing.

I want to know the self

as a bank knows a river,

as wave knows water,

as night knows the night.

There is a kind of knowing

that has less to do with certainty

and more to do with meeting

the world again and again as it is.

I want to know the self

with no name, with no story,

as a stone might know it,

or a song.

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