Posts Tagged ‘why’

She remembers how at the orchard
the wind would sometimes
rip the ripening fruit from the trees.
Not because it was cruel.
It was wind doing what wind does.
And life does what life does.
It takes. It gives. It takes. It gives.
Not because life is cruel or generous,
but because it is life.
Look how the word why forms on her lips—
look how saying the word
requires a small pucker like a kiss.
She doesn’t seem to expect an answer.
Perhaps she is practicing
how to lean into the silence that always follows
when she asks the unanswerable.
Perhaps she is practicing how to kiss the unknown.
If she could have stopped the wind from blowing,
she would have. If she could have stopped
her son from dying, her father from dying,
her friend from dying, she would have.
Instead, she is learning this:
no matter how much she does,
no matter how good, how quick,
how noble, how loving, how well-intentioned,
life will do what life does.
And still the invitation
to bring to every moment her best,
which is to say whatever
the moment asks of her.
See her hair blow in the wind.
The only thing she can do
is choose to notice the place within
that remains still no matter
how hard the wind blows.
Perhaps she will learn how this stillness, too,
is life doing what life does.

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The spam email was simple. Subject: Why?

Body: Answer me. And I thought of Einstein,

who wrote a brief letter to Miss Marion Block,

a woman who had written first to him,

overcome as she was by two world wars.


He wrote: The question “Why” in the human sphere

is easy to answer: to create satisfaction

for ourselves and for other people.


Almost 800 years earlier,

Rumi answered the same question, saying,

Oh soul, you worry too much.


I, too, like Miss Block, like the spammer,

like the soul, I, too, have stood beneath the stars

and asked Why, Why?

And this week, I received in the mail

a typed letter signed from The Universe,

saying, You know this, but may have forgotten:

you have been given a special task

to complete on Earth … the world needs you.


And the words from The Universe

leap from the page to form new constellations

inside me and I see so clearly

that I am one of many, many stars,

no longer capable of thinking I’m in this for myself,

certain that we shine for each other.


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One Agreement



wondering again

why did it happen—because

says the world, it did happen

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Every time you say that word,
I can’t help but notice the way
your lips gather into the shape
of a kiss. As if to question the world
is just another way of making love
to everything we do not know.
Say why, and the mouth gathers
into a soft pucker. Say why long enough
and the word itself begins to unravel,
to unmean, to unknow, to become
nothing more than a vocal caress
and I am not so much interested
in the answer as I am in you
continuing to ask, perhaps next time
a little closer to my shoulder, my neck.

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