Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Before dinner we step outside.

Soft winds unfurl around us, coming mostly from the south, turning the leaves on the maple tree in a way I remember from childhood means leave the forest quickly and find shelter.

The clouds above us deepen and elide, many shades of blue and violet, and softer hues closer to rose.

Here and there a hole opens - like an envelope tearing or a river rushing its banks - through which a gold light pours, and towering cumuli are visible, and one grows silent and still before this evidence of such holy and perfect cathedrals.

Earlier she said that all spiritual paths begin with a perception of lack and thus reflect an effort to fill that lack.

If it is the right path, and if one is sincere in their attention, then the path evolves so as to correct the perception of lack.

When we become religious, we consent to a journey that goes beyond all churches, beyond all crosses, beyond all princes and - yes - beyond all teachers.

Carefully, I study dandelion leaves for tell-tale signs of hungry rabbits.

I straighten as a blue bird - unusual so far from the open fields - passes quickly, going roughly north.

The last of the apple blossoms have fallen.

What will I do when it comes my time to fall?

What have I done before?

The wind comes and goes and I cannot see it.

I only see the hint of its passing - blackberry bushes swaying as if under the sea, maple leaves bending away from their stems, the swift passage of rain-filled clouds.

I recall the soft indentation of her feet in the grass, earlier and how it did not last, and how she waited patiently for me to study this and see it.

I know we are always in motion, that all things are but the One Thing folding and unfolding, but the knowledge brings me no comfort.

And it is comfort for which I long, still.

In the distance now, thunder.

All this I give to her and she says: "when you are honest you are both student and teacher at once and so learning becomes effortless and natural."

She takes my hand and we stand together quietly, facing the gathering storm, and what the storm is not.


  1. Hi Sean,

    A certain loneliness abates when I read these sentences. On a level I don't quite understand, they brought to the surface a memory that helped me begin to give language to my fear ... the one that consumes me most. I'm not sure if any narrative will follow, but for now ...

    Jessie sounds more even than usual, if that makes sense. As a rule, she is very introspective and I imagine is moving through something she can't quite get her head around, while wondering what her future holds. Her small group has no leader, now, and no second in command. And this is politics and Annie's List is a liberal organization and there is the usual Internet blabber about God's retribution.

    I am glad I will be there soon.


  2. It's always nice to make contact with the internal stuff, regardless of whether some narrative emerges. There are experiences that are almost forty years old now that I still haven't been able to write about, though they continue to flutter in the direction of wordiness. I tell myself that healing knows, and my job is to get out of the way, really.

    I can only imagine how nice it will be for you to see Jessie . . . My kids aren't that old yet (15 is the oldest) but still.

    ~ Sean