Posts Tagged ‘truth’

One at the Film Festival

a happy ending, nice,
but what the heart most longs for—
the hairshirt of truth

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Beside the purple lupine
she says, “The thing I most
don’t want to talk about—”
and then, with a sigh,
she talks about it,
and the path and the wild iris
and the bear bell and I
all listen as she meets
what she most wishes not
to meet. There are moments
when we step right up
to the line that delineates
the world that is and the world
as we wish it would be,
and no matter how much it hurts,
there is such relief in meeting the truth
that I swear as she spoke
the world was even more itself—
the lupine more purple,
the sky more blue,
and my heart more a heart
because of her courage
to take off her mask
and says this, this is what’s real.

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Meeting Some Truths

The truth was an avalanche—
an avalanche midsummer,
which is to say
it didn’t seem possible,
but it happened.
And I was buried
beneath the cold
immense weight of it.
Crushed but still breathing—
another impossible truth.
I know some would like to see
the uprooted world
already green and lush again,
but anyone who
has wandered through
old avalanche paths
knows it takes many seasons
before the fallen old growth trees
have moldered into soil,
many seasons before the new saplings
have grown into forest again.
One truth is, the healing begins quickly,
but takes a long time.
Even then, the forest is never the same.
One truth is, so much of transformation
happens beneath perception.
One truth is, we all live
in the avalanche path.

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Meeting Grief Again

I was wrong, grief,
when I said you had become me,
integral as bone.

It is true you are woven
through the fibers
of every moment.

It is true, you have taken up
residence here, like a cat
that sleeps in my bed.

It is true you have brought
the most beautiful,
unwelcome gifts—

silver songs that emerge
from keening—songs that crawl
before they soar—

and an openness
I once prayed for
before I understood the cost.

But we are not knitted, grief—
not bonded, not joined.
Whatever is most essential in me

is truer than the story
you’ve been written into,
truer than page itself.

Whatever is most essential in me
longs to know you,
longs to dance naked

and unashamed with you,
but it is entirely unchanged by you.
Whatever is most essential in me

thanks you for the lessons
that keep me asking who I am.
I closed my eyes, and the light came in.

Who am I? I asked, and I watched
the story disappear from the page,
as if the ink were a murmuration.

Who am I? I ask, and the only answer
alive on my tongue
is thank you.

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This moment is not
the citrus burst
of ripe blood oranges
nor bitter dark
of Ceylon tea
nor warm whiskey
of long, slow kisses—
instead it tastes
of the must of loss,
the salt of what was,
the sharp young wine
of words not yet said,
and there,
dancing on the tip
of the willing tongue
the yeasty, springy crumb
of truth.

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One Memoir

these beautiful thoughts
old pages turned yellow
every word still true

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Hiding Comes Out

The hiding doesn’t want to hide anymore.
It’s done with shadows and corners and masks.
All it wants is to show up. To step out.
To be seen. There was a time
when everything frightened it, when hiding
was desperate for a veil, a shroud, a disguise.
Hiding doesn’t remember what changed.
It only knows that one day it was no longer content
with holing up. Couldn’t. It no longer fit in its hole.
It wants big sky and meadows and space.
It wants to skip down main street.
Naked. It wants to know itself and be known,
to be as out there as exposé, as confession,
as a kiss on the sidewalk at noon. It wants
headlines. Declarations. Independence.
It knows things might get messy.
That’s why it brought a broom,
but damned if it will wear gloves.
It wants to get all that dirt in its fingernails.
It wants the callouses that come with revelation.

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Choosing Truth

And if I find I’d rather not meet the truth,
then I can notice the little girl in me,
the one who hides in the closet
when she is afraid, the one who plays dead,
the one who ends all her stories with happily
ever after, and I can choose to love her.
I don’t need to drag her out or force her to look
or tell her that sometimes the villain wins in the end.
Instead, I can remind the rest of me how alive I feel
when I meet it all, when I choose to enter the day
eyes open, ears open, hands open
and let the world in. That is how,
on this day when I know the truth
of how cruel we humans can be,
I can lean into that pain at the same time
I watch the sky turn pink behind the white aspen
and feel the cold air kiss my cheeks,
my breath rising in visible prayer
meeting difficult truths I walk right through.

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Taking It All Off

In order to swim, one takes off all one’s clothes—in order to aspire to the truth, one must undress in a far more inward sense, divest oneself of all one’s inward clothes, of thoughts, conceptions, selfishness, etc., before one is sufficiently naked.

   —Søren Kierkegaard

And so I attempt to slip out

of the shirt of defensiveness,

slip off the belt of shame.

I wriggle against the jeans

of righteousness and tug

off the socks of distrust.

It’s scary to take it all off,

but everything else feels too tight

these days, and damn,

I just want the truth so bad,

want to wear it like my own skin,

want to step into it like slippers

I will never take off, want to

wear it like boots that will

carry me over any terrain,

want to wear it like

an eternal perfume—

something I am sure is there

even with my eyes closed,

even in the dark.

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Finding Faith

While pulling the beets,

it’s impossible to lose faith

in the world. Those tiny seeds

that once fit in the palm are now

large red globes,

dense with dark sweetness

and heavy in the hand.

They are like promises kept,

like small proofs in patience,

confirmations that sometimes

the good that’s growing can’t be seen.

They are like hard truths.

Not everyone will want them.

Some will.

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