And I say to my heart:
And I say to my heart:
And I say to my heart:
When you have picked the shards of glass out of your bloodstream, carefully, and packed away your sorrows in their boxes, one by one, don’t hide them in the attic. They will grow cobwebs there. They will take up space. Sooner or later you will trip over them. Give them to the bonfire or the junk sale, because their usefulness is done.
Your pain is the consequence of being human. It is a sign you have reached some limit in yourself you must respect. When you run too far, it is the ache in your legs that will tell you to stop. When you are too tired, or too lost or you are hurting, it is the ache in your heart which tells you that it is too much.
Give yourself sustenance in whatever form you need it. Find peace in music and books, or in kisses and laughter and in other people. Eat good food, and drink more water than tea, but hopefully still enough of the second. Sleep if you can. Grow something: A cactus or a flower or a project. Be kind to who you are.
If something you need is missing, close your eyes and picture it. Imagine it for yourself, because you are a joyful painter with the finest paint palette that ever was, and the whole canvas of your mind is waiting.
Let yourself cry. Tears do not waste themselves. They are like tree sap; a consequence of pressure building up and they flow out of injuries, of all kinds. They release the pressure, a little, and they aid in your healing.
You may be afraid but that is just the part of you that wants to protect you reminding you that it is there. It is guarding you well. You may feel small but you are bound to sometimes, because you dream in ways that would seem vast to any giant.
Don’t be too disheartened. Ants can recognise their own faces in a mirror. An Octopus can unscrew the lid of a jar, from the inside, if you let it. There are people making centrifuges out of paper. The ozone layer is repairing itself. There are nearly a thousand different types of cheeses in existence. The world is worthwhile, even though it contains some terrible things. Life is, too.
You are so lovely, even when you don’t believe it.
We too should make ourselves empty, that the great soul
of the universe may fill us with its breath.
We live our long, worn days in the shadows, in what often feels like barren, cold winter, so unaware of the miracles that are being created in our spirits. It takes the sudden daylight, some unexpected surprise of life, to cause our gaze to look upon a simple, stunning growth that has happened quietly inside us. Like frost designs on a winter window, they bring us beyond life’s fragmentation and remind us that we are not nearly as lost as we thought we were, that all the time we thought we were dead inside, beautiful things were being born in us.
Praying Our Goodbyes
Life has an astonishing way of taking care of you when you no longer mind
What about letting the heart take the lead? What about showing up empty with openness, willingness and trust. Knowing and trusting deeply that everything always works itself out, and a willingness to be moved upon by something so grand and mysterious.
~Excerpts from the newsletter, Simply Blessed
For all the hardships that life throws at us, I have always felt that life keeps living. Perhaps not in the same form or in a way that is recognizable. But life keeps pulsing under everything. And no matter the pain or confusion I face, something in me keeps reaching for that irrepressible pulse. This poem comes from my reaching.
A FEW TURNS OF THE MOON
From the balcony of this restaurant, I watch
a hundred lives below: burrowing and laughing
and finding their way. And perhaps because
I’ve lost my father and our beloved dog in the
last year, perhaps because at sixty-three, I see
over the final hill more clearly, I also see the
hundreds on the other side, still burrowing
and laughing and finding their way. I don’t
know if this is alarming or a comfort: that
we go on the same, that the gleam pressed
out of every hardship is the jewel of existence,
here and on the other side. So I spoon my
soup and sip my wine, knowing the balcony
is the gutter and the gutter is the balcony,
that the dark waits all curled up in the light,
and the light, thank God, waits all curled up
in the dark.
But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
Some days, I see time as a great stretch of fabric with the stars all speckled over it and the planets scattered across it. They are plump with the seas and volcanoes and all of the people, who are stitched together by hope and gravity.
There is an old woman who darns time whenever it frays. She takes her needle and thread and makes it neat again. That’s where the saying “a stitch in time saves nine” comes from, because if she happens to miss the chance to fix it straight away, it has this awful habit of unraveling rather quickly.
A lot of things cause time to fray. Not paying attention to beautiful things is one of them. So if you’re watching a glorious sunset and thinking about porridge, or worse, stocks and shares, time might start to get raggedy. Anything dramatic makes it a little wild as well. In those moments when the world breaks your heart, if you were to just happen to look at the right second, you’d see her diligently fixing a small tear in the sky or precisely cross stitching a cherry blossom which was beginning to lose its shape.
Sometimes she’s at your shoulder, fixing a little part of you that’s beginning to lose its thread, pins in her mouth even though it’s dangerous, so she can get the hem of your existence just right.
She is always patching this, or noticing that, and occasionally if her hands are weary, working the pedal on her old sewing machine to pick and redo the stitching of one of the lesser moons, for practice.
The silver of the needle. The thimble. The neat reels of cotton. All of these tiny things making something so much greater than themselves. Like we do as well.
Life is so fragile, and so is time. It is only kept together by her determination and the thin thread she holds safe in her hands. By luck, too.
And maybe it’s a strange idea, but I can see her so clearly, and I can hear how she lullabies into the stillness while we continue and we try to find whatever magic we can.