Though you may tremble with self-doubt
that the clarity
and authentic joy
they are yours
and you must never turn back
on the heart that led you here
Imagine you are somewhere where you are enough.
Think of a place. Maybe there is a healer there. They have a simple hut. They apply salves to your heart-wounds.
The people there know that you have done your best. You lay down next to a campfire and fall asleep to the unhurried murmurs of campfire talk.
You can stay as long as you need to. You are home. You are enough.
Rest. Lay your head down. Breathe gently. Imagine Jesus, or Buddha, or your grandmother, or your favourite teacher is sitting next to you. They smile gently. They say: I am here for you. You can rest now. They gently stroke your forehead, and hold your hand in theirs. They want you to know: it’s okay. Breathe. Rest. They are solid, like a mountain. They will stay as long as it takes.
am I doing it right?
what should I do?
the dog invites me to come outside
and sit in the tree-circle
we don’t do anything
as far as I can tell
but the questions stop
Today I made believe I was a monk
I lit the candles
invited the bell to sound
stepped so carefully
until I couldn’t say
whether I was or I wasn’t
My house was a temple
may our home be happy
may love grow there
may it be a nest, a holy place
may we be gentle and kind with each other
and always leave a light burning
in our hearts
Some weeks ago I was putting on my shoes, which had been in the garage over the weekend, and I felt something soft, almost like a balled-up tissue, under my heel in the shoe. I wiggled my foot around in there and even squeezed down a little, as if I just hadn’t got the shoe on right. Then I thought better of it and slipped off the shoe, glancing inside as I pulled the shoe away from my heel. It was a little mouse, not moving, but the sight of it prompted me to go into a kind of involuntary panic and I threw the shoe down and threw myself in the other direction onto the floor and shuddered. Then I realized I must have squished it and, struck with an immediate kind of remorse, I picked up the shoe again to see if the mouse could, possibly, be okay. He (I don’t know if it was a he or a she) looked just as if he’d fallen asleep, he didn’t look squished, except that now he began to shudder and I saw that this was probably a death-shudder and I started walking outside with the shoe, thinking that maybe if I left the shoe outside awhile I’d come home later and find the mouse gone, meaning he’d recovered from the nasty shock of being squished and run away. I put him down, still inside the shoe, near the compost and I started to cry. And I cried, the whole way to work with my mom in the car, and sometime after I dropped her off, and later in the afternoon, and later in the evening, when I thought of it and the memory of the balled-up Kleenex feeling under my foot came to mind. It was so intimate somehow, how I’d killed him. It was so clearly my fault and also so clearly not at all a matter of fault. Only an accident. I went back to the shoe when I returned in the evening and he was still there, stiff and dead. I buried him in a shallow grave further back, where the woods started, and I apologized for squishing him and wished him well as best I could through my tears.
and you may come to me in my dreams
and hold my hand
because i missed you there,
and i will turn to you in my sleep
and rest my cheek against yours
and i will know that i am not crooked
if the world was just more alive, then.
I let myself be still
and I cried through my meditation
- cried through breakfast.
I sat in the backyard, in the tree-circle,
I heard it, the humming,
and I felt it, as if it was seeping into my skin
- no less alive,
only as alive as I let myself be.
I can just make out your lips
and my love goes leaping up
but there’s nowhere for it
I see now
that I have a home
and this time it will be with relief
that I go into your arms