the space between is longer and longer still. and the words that do come seem to slide off a cogent slope into some quiet corridor that is locked for later, like an advent calendar of my life.
i am curious about your open windows. can you answer the question “what are you up to lately?” with something that feels accurate? how do you communicate everything that happens in between the driving and the doing? for example, i want to explain that, while it looks like i may be idly sweeping my floor or making a grocery list, i am, in fact, learning rapture and stillness and sometimes holding lifetimes in my gaze? i also want you to understand that i really do feel your fear, the way it radiates off of your skin, and i am making a conscious choice to keep it yours, all while we chat about the weather and how we spent the holiday. i get tongue tied in the narrative of the movie i saw or the book i read or the thing that happened the other day or the plans that i am making or the book i want to write or the projects i am embarking on or what is for dinner or where the kid is going to college or even that deep insightful thought i had. there is so much more happening as the sentences are being formed, like how the light is casting interesting shadows through the kitchen and the heart of one that i love is being transformed through pain.
how do i casually offer that i am navigating a broadened field of perception that is blowing my mind and simultaneously causing me to feel absurdly rich and connected, and also isolated and protected? (and we are going to tahoe for christmas)
the open pasture that is my mind is at once eerily void and surprisingly free. there is room for more subtle discernment and an appreciation of where i am touched and where i am triggered. i can sense a hungry ghost from greater distances and, though i am rendered mostly inarticulate, i am feeling more stealth in the removal of claws. (i think i will roast some brussels sprouts tonight)
and so it goes. we say it best we can. stumbling, awkward and elegantly so. pedestrian, quotidian and exquisitely poetic. whatever brings us closer.
because i, for one, still want closer.
(and, yes, i found this poem after dribbling all of the above–hooray for normalcy)
Sunday morning, the table scattered with
bagels, toast, ham and tea, breaded knives on
crumpled napkins, books on every corner-
Whitman, Doty, Jacques Prevert, Rumi on
the floor–each of us tossing another voice
into the air to see what’s folded way inside,
to see what lives between yesterday and
sugar. Each of us knowing what it’s like to be
both turtle and hawk, and Hamlet, all in a day.
The dog sleeps on Kenyon, near Neruda, as we
reach for something not quite in reach and
land on each other, as if the one utterance
inside every voice can soften the onslaught
of time. ~Mark Nepo