Dear Friends ~ October, at the heart of chilly autumn, is an intricate, nuanced, bittersweet time. The glory of shimmering trees, outrageous sunsets, invigorating winds, the scent of apples and rich mulch, the gratitude and joy of the harvest feast twines with oncoming darkness, falling leaves, the sense of letting go and passing on, the ephemeral nature of everything. Particularly now when so much in our world is changing, when the discipline of loss and grieving is a daily call, it is imperative to return again and again to the inner flame that burns on the hearth of belonging, to be warmed by something eternal and unchanging, the Creative Fire, the Original Presence. Poet Marie Howe, in "Annunciation", might have been describing such an experience when she wrote, "[I] swam in what shone at me/only able to endure it by being no one and so/specifically myself I thought I'd die/from being loved like that."
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.
To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.
And however sharply
you are tested —
this sorrow, that great love —
it too will leave on that clean knife.
"It would seem," Höller later reflected, "that plants grow better in contact with positive human sensations." But perhaps that's no surprise either, that how we bear witness to what's before us can hurt or nourish what's before us. Our environments have always been soft to the touch, defined by how we translate them: mine or ours or simply here, the place where we happened to enjoy the outrageous luxury of remaining momentarily alive together.
how many long years
this tree waited as a seed
for an animal or bird or wind or rain
to maybe carry it to maybe the right spot
where again it waited months for seasons to change
until time and temperature were fine enough to coax it
to swell and burst its hard shell so it could send slender roots
to clutch at grains of soil and let tender shoots reach toward the sun
Think how many decades or centuries it thickened and climbed and grew
taller and deeper never knowing if it would find enough water or light
or when conditions would be right so it could keep on spreading leaves
adding blossoms and dancing
night of mine,
night of the entire world,
you have something inside you, round
like a child
about to be born, like
it is the miracle,
it is the day.
You are more beautiful
because with your darker blood
you feed the poppy being born,
because you work with eyes closed
so eyes can open,
so water can sing,
so our lives
The way forward, the way between things,
the way already walked before you,
the path disappearing and re-appearing even
as the ground gave way beneath you,
the grief apparent only in the moment
of forgetting, then the river, the mountain,
the lifting song of the Sky Lark inviting
you over the rain filled pass when your legs
had given up....
...But your loss brought you here to walk
under one name and one name only,
and to find the guise under which all loss can live;
..... other people
seemed to know you even before you gave up
being a shadow on the road and came into the light....
pilgrim they called you again. Pilgrim.
Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?
so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money —
nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone
pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.
For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you. Remember?
There was no Nature. No
them. No tests
to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf or if
the coral reef feels pain. Trashed
oceans don't speak English or Farsi or French;
would that we could wake up to what we were
— when we were ocean and before that
to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not
at all — nothing
before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.
Can molecules recall it?
what once was? before anything happened?
No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with
is is is is is
All everything home
May we embrace Creation as a whole and become attuned to all the world;
May we see Divinity in the within and the without of all things.
...Come into the Secret Room of our hearts and be our Guest.
Yes, as our hearts are awakened to your Presence within us,
we are led back to the Source of all life.