Posts Tagged ‘uncertainty’

Never the Same

Sometimes a person wakes
believing they are a storm.
It’s hard to deny it, what,
with all the rain pouring out
of the gutters of the mind,
all the gusts blowing through,
all the squalls, all the gray.
But by afternoon, it seems obvious
they are a garden about to sprout.
By night, it is clear they are a moon—
luminous, radiant, faithful.
That’s the danger, I suppose,
of believing any frame.
Let me believe, then, in curiosity,
in wonder, in change.
Let me trust how essential it is
to stumble into the trough
of the unknown, marvel how
trough becomes wings becomes
faith becomes math. Let me trust
uncertainty is a sacred path.

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I step into the boat.
You offer me an oar.
Thank you, but sweetheart,
what I really want
is to be in the boat
with no oars
and you.

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Sometimes, too certain I know what love is,
I miss love.
It’s like thinking water is waves,
not seeing water is also the depths of ocean,
the muscle of river, the body, the air,
ice, snow, fog, clouds, mist.
Sometimes, longing to hear certain words,
I neglect to hear the words that are spoken.
Or craving a certain touch, I disregard
all other touch, and my skin believes it is starving.
There is beauty beyond beauty, love beyond love,
opening beyond opening, an apple inside apple.
Let my prayer be I don’t know.
Let me find the door inside the door,
the glimmer inside the glimmer,
the human inside this woman.
The god inside of god.

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after Knowing Now You’ll Never Be a Clown by Jack Ridl

I’ll never be a tight rope walker
balancing above the canyon—
no net beneath me, just angry rapids,
no strap tethering me to the tight rope
to catch me should I fall.
But could I be a tightrope walker,
I would know the art of one step at a time,
would know how to tune out everything
except the step that comes next.
Or is it that I would know
how to tune in to everything
so I might better meet the next step?
If I were a tightrope walker,
I would trust myself
know every muscle intimately,
would have faith in my reflexes,
faith in how I respond to wind,
to challenge, to fear.
Instead of all this wondering
about what should come next.
Instead of all this worry about
how to take a step.

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It’s like moving west around the earth
so I might stay in perpetual sunrise—
moving to stay in that moment when the day
is blushing with potential.
But sometimes when I am very still,
I notice the sunrise within.
And I wake and I wake, and I wake
and by doing nothing, begin again.

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Certainty is a frigatebird,
able to soar on the wind for weeks,
its nest a distant thing.
Is it wrong to say I admire it,
sleek and raven feathered,
how it dives from the sky
with exquisite precision,
how it steals what it wants
with no regard for what’s fair.
I have wanted to be that certain,
wanted to take, wanted to believe
my hunger is all that matters.
Is it wrong to notice these thoughts,
to give voice to their midnight wings?
I say I trust what I don’t know.
Meanwhile, I flirt with certainty.
It whispers to me,
I’m the other truest thing.

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inspired by Wayne Muller

I do not love you in 0s and 1s,

some straightforward proposition—

our love, my dear, is gray, is .772,

refuses to be simplified, reduced.

There is maybe in us. And perhaps.

Wouldn’t it be easier if love were like math—

a logical answer we could arrive at,

with binary digits to map it all out.

Instead, a word, a tone, a should

makes what is certain slip off its string

and the bits and values keep changing.

Somewhere between the 0 and 1

is a meadow where we might watch the moon,

a garden where outlandish fruits still grow,

a mountain we will never stop climbing.

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Things that Bloom



I’m thinking of silence, how when it opens,

it changes the room with its fragrance.


How frost can make a garden

of a window overnight.


Old friendship—sometimes

even when we forget to water it,

persists like mint.


Fear, of course, is knapweed-ish,

tap-rooted, invasive. Almost impossible

to eradicate its petals of panic,

petals of dread.


Sometimes a name can bloom

on the tongue when the syllables

stem from someone we love.


And when we’re very still, the moment itself

seems to bloom, like a peony

revealing layer after tender layer,

charging the air with sweetness.

Now flower. Here flower.


The moon, that giant cream perennial,

reminds us nightly how we, too,

are called to grow our light

toward the dark.


And uncertainty, it comes to us

in giant bouquets, each bloom a question

that doesn’t want to be answered,

it wants only for us to hold it in our arms

like the gift it is.

















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And tonight I think

of the seventeen Italian doctors,

dead. And the hundreds

of thousands of people

whose test results were positive.

And all the doctors, nurses,

health care workers—

some right here in our town.

I think of them eating breakfast,

reading the same discouraging news,

then kissing their loved ones,

putting on their shoes,

and walking out the door,

though resolution’s as elusive

as last month’s peace—

the peace we didn’t

even know we had.

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The Vendor



And if there were a map

for the path of my own becoming,

I wouldn’t buy it.

I tried. I marched up to the vendor

of maps, took out my coin,

and held it out for the exchange,

but was startled by an inner revolt—

not an angry crowd but a quiet, insistent no.

I put the coin back in my pocket

and walked away, wildly aware

I had no idea what step came next.

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