Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Word by Wandering Word

Sooner or later the body lies down, the way a single leaf falls in the forest unseen, or a drop of rain on a blade of grass evaporates at dawn, and it is okay, it is more than okay.

The brook hums quietly, insisting on nothing, and one recalls the (mostly) helpful Heraclitian fragments.

Blueberries come slower this year and yet already crab apples drag tenuous boughs earthward.

What requires secrecy is merely the attempt to force Love to accommodate this story instead of all stories, and it never works, so why bother?

On Saturday I walked twenty-three miles straight, until my feet literally bled, to learn again that nothing external is real, that what we have to deal with is our internal representation of reality, and that help, properly understood, is always given.

Often, I mistake dragonflies for hummingbirds, mad desire for Love,  crows for ravens, and deer in the far field for deer in the far field.

And robins settle a little on the phone wire, and rabbits huddle near the marigolds, and on Route 112 the eighteen-wheelers groan and roar, the miles beneath them singing the old sad song.

Holes in the screen let in mosquitoes, who circle us droning as we make love the way you do when you've known the other a long time, know where to touch and how softly, opening and enfolding, muffled cries coming in darkness, and after lying in tangled sheets remembering again - gratefully, happily - that you are always home where you are, this body with this body, this room in this landscape, each sigh narrating again the wholeness forever inherent, the perfection we so naturally embody, and recollect, and offer up, over and over, kiss by salty kiss, word by wandering word.

However slow I go, God goes yet slower, and right now that is the lesson, right now that is what is there to be learned.

Life, from which we are not separate, despite the evidence of form, goes on, both endless and beginningless.

And the egg song of the chickens not interrupting but seamlessly inflecting my clumsy morning prayers.

It is not a mistake to make kindness our function, to seek the potential of service in all things, even the apparently disadvantageous.

I know: what is there to know but that there is nothing to know?

And somewhere the sea rises and falls, and the moonlight elongates all silver and bright, and someone is born and someone dies, and cities turn to dust, and mountains too, and we forget it all: Beethoven, Dickinson, fathers and guns, the first time we held her hand: and still what is Love goes on.

It is August and the first maple leaf turns red, and the grackles begin assembling in flocks, and the nights lengthen, like blankets in the hands of a benevolent seamstress, who dreams while she sews of kisses when she was young.

"I can't face another screen/I can't stand what they do to me."

Each sentence is given, and received, and because it is received, is given, and this circularity is Life in which is implicit, Love.

Imagine you are the inhalation and exhalation of Love, or God.

Imagine roses at the foot of the cross, thousands of them, or butterfly balm maybe, or pale wild morning glories ascending gently his broken legs, while he nods happily, forgiving thieves and soldiers simply by knowing that he is surrounded only by beloved brothers and sisters.

Neither last nor first, nor my sentences nor yours, nor this nor that, but how light seems to rise in the east and set in the west, or how the stars are still there even when clouds gather and obscure them, or the little rain that falls for all of us, a little while, so soft, so perfect, so welcome.


  1. This is beautiful, Sean. The sentence that begins: "Often I mistake.... " stopped me with its perfect ending.

    My ego self is upset with my ego self this morning and your words are a balm. I've become a bit insufferable in my desire for "white space."

    Radical self-forgiveness is required ... and yet I remain incapable of giving it.

    But this helps:

    "However slow I go, God goes yet slower, and right now that is the lesson, right now that is what is there to be learned."

    Thank you.

  2. You're welcome, Cheryl. Thank you for the kind words . . .

    Consider that self-forgiveness is not something you "give" but rather "receive" . . .


  3. Yes, that creates an opening.
    And a gentle release.

    I don't believe I have ever thought of it that way. Thank you, Sean.