Posts Tagged ‘trying’

Morning Encouragement

I would like to be a kingfisher—
just for a morning.
I’d arrive at the edge of the pond
with the other kingfishers
and watch for crawdads.
“Catchin’ any?” I’d say
to the birds on my right.
“Nah,” they’d say,
“But we keep trying.”
“Good luck,” I’d say,
as took my own spot
in the branches,
waiting for the pond to still
so I could see the movement
at the bottom.
“Good luck,” they’d squawk back,
then they’d rattle with laughter
when at last I broke the pond surface
and came up, beak empty.
“Tough day at the pond,”
they’d rib. And I’d laugh, too.
Then we’d dive and dive and dive.
So often I come up empty.
How is it I sometimes forget to laugh?
But that morning,
every now and then,
one bird would get lucky.
“Your turn next,” she’d say,
her mouth full of shell.
And I’d laugh at how unglamorous
success can be. How crunchy.
All morning we’d go on like this,
diving and missing
and crunching and missing
and laughing and missing
so that by noon
when I was human again,
when I came up empty as I often do—
hungry for love, or eloquence or purpose—
I’d say to myself, “try again, darlin,”
and I’d try again, then break out
into a laughter wildly true,
the world rippling around me
like a pond that I trust
will eventually still.

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It’s like trying
to fall asleep.
Nothing to be done
except lay there
and let sleep
come do the work.
But who wants
to hear that?
We want to know
what to do.
One tiny pill.
Ten easy steps.
Three simple tips.
But nothing to do?
the mind says,
okay, I will
not try even harder.
This is when,
I would guess,
the soul is laughing
its best belly laugh, watching
the mind grasping
at how not to grasp.
But there is grace.
And there is exhaustion.
Both work in our favor.
Sometimes it happens,
I wear myself out,
and too tired to pull out
any more tricks,
I notice that I
have forgotten
to remember to
struggle, and how
easy it is then
to see god in everything,
even the anger,
even the clench,
forgetting even
to despise frustration,
forgetting even
not to try.

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