Posts Tagged ‘slow’

Perhaps I wish for something dangerous—
a rush, a breakneck ride, a snow-drunk risk.
Instead, my daughter and I slide the toboggan
down the drive with a languid, slow-motion
sluggishness. And we laugh as we urge
the wooden sled forward, creeping
down the hill. After a few laps, the run
is fast enough we can build a small jump
at the bottom, but it’s more of a bump
than a launch. What is it in the heart
that loves a surge, a swell of excitement,
a dance with danger? Why is it fun
to be out of control when the stakes are low?
Oh, my girl and I know, we know what it’s like
when the stakes are high. No wonder
we laugh as we slide at the pace of a stroll.
We know what it’s like to be out of control.
We know. I hold her by the waist as we barely move.
And part of me longs for speed. And part of me
is grateful to move in a way that lets me hold her
a little bit, even just a few seconds, longer.

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How the Healing Happens

Again today
I dig with my teaspoon
into the soil
of sorrow.
It is said
there is healing water
somewhere below.

Perhaps I wished
for a shovel.
Perhaps there was
no shovel to be found.
Perhaps I did find a shovel,
but the work was
too heavy, too hard.

It is not hard
to dig one teaspoon
at a time.
Anyone can do it.
The hole gets wider,
deeper. Soon
it feels like a well.
It is easy work.
It’s the hardest work
I’ve ever done.

I thirst.
Yet what heals us
is not only
the promised water.
What heals is
the work itself,
dry and slow,
one spoonful,
and another spoonful,
and another parched spoonful,
and another.

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The heart of the blue whale

is in no hurry, only four to eight

beats per minute. And the glaciers

move their brilliant blue mass

less than three hundred meters a year.  

And forgiveness, it can move even

slower than that. It may be months,

even years before it blooms.

But how wondrous, when at last

we recognize that, perhaps through

no effort of our own, it has released

its unhurried perfume into our thoughts—

oh sweetness we thought might never arrive,

oh surprise when it touches us everywhere.

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On An April Evening




The creek is rising, love,

all surge and plunge,

a rapid, eager coursing—

do you see how the water

surges, falls over itself

in its springborn hurry—

all around us, ahh, do you hear?

the world is a-scurry

with reachings and rushings

and places to go,

and in me this wish

to do nothing but

touch you very,

very, very




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It is slow and soft, the first movement—

the right hand sweeping in smooth triple meter,

the left hand singing against it.

Minor, the key, and mysterious

the melody, slow, it is slow and soft,

a walk through moonlight.

What is it that sometimes rises in us,

this urge toward crescendo, toward swell?

I feel it in my hands as they move

across the stoic keys, an urgency,

a reaching toward climax, a pressing

insistence, as if to sing louder is to sing

more true. But over and over again,

Beethoven reminds us, piano, piano,

his markings all through the music.

Oh beauty in restraint. It is soft,

the moonlight, a delicate fragrance,

it is heart opening, the tune,

it is growing in me, this lesson in just

how profoundly the quiet

can move us. And the hands,

as they learn to trust in softness,

how beautifully they bloom.


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blue heron

in the tree top—

this quickening heart




I draw for myself

a new starting line—

on your open palm

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