About Me

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I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

#BlogElul 5: Know

Here's what I know today:

My uncle is dying. The doctors say hours, maybe days. Yesterday they said maybe months. I wonder, if we ask again, can we get a better timeline, one that will include years, or maybe decades? I say this hopefully, even though I know I am kidding no one, not even myself.

I hate knowing this.

Another thing I know today: this vigil, this waiting is no easier the second time through. Almost exactly four years ago, it was my brother who lay in a hospital bed, struggling to breath, struggling to speak, or wake, or sleep, or find comfort, or something. We moved with him, breathed with him, murmured with him.

It is the same today, even though it is vastly different. And it is no easier.

I hate knowing this, too.

More things that I know today:

I ran out of time, to tell my uncle everything I wanted to tell him. I'm pretty sure he knows I love him. I'm pretty sure he knows that, for all that we fought, for all that we disappointed one another, for all that we yelled, I never forgot that we are, over and above everything (anything) else, family.

I let my pride and my ego and my need to be right get in the way of forgiveness. I regret this.

I cannot escape the smell of lilacs. I don't know if that is piped in through the vents, if it is coming from my uncle, or if I am making it up entirely. I love lilacs. I may never be able to be near them again.

Grief finds its own pathways in each of us. Learning to honor those pathways, and those who share my grief but not my road, is difficult. I am not as graceful in this as I'd like to be.

Love is not enough; it will never cure anything. If we're lucky, though, it can heal.

There is something about touch, connection, skin-to-skin, hand-to-hand, that is holy.

I am pretty sure that these are not bad things to know.

This Elul, I hope that I can carry all of this knowing, all this regret and this holiness with me - in my heart, through my hands - mindfully and with love.

Friday, August 29, 2014

#BlogElul 3 - Bless

I spent most of the day at the hospital, talking about really uncomfortable things. 

If the heart stops, do we try to start it again? This has nothing to do with a broken heart, but a beaten, barely beating one. What then? If the heart doesn't quite stop, but falters, what then? How much do we try to restore it? 

And what about an invasion, not of soldiers or marauders (or at least, not in any human form, but microscopic ones, who invade the blood and infect the body) do we fight them off? Do we go bravely into battle until they are routed, every last one of them?

When do we stop trying to... I can't even imagine the proper infinitive that belongs in that blank space. Is it to try, or maybe to will, or to fix and mend and heal and ---

Please God, let there be no pain. How about that? Just: no pain. 

That's a perfect goal, though it doesn't fall into a tidy infinitive. Right about now, I am hungering for tidy, for neat little boxes that fit, with no lumps or leftover parts. 

Thing is, life isn't tidy. at least, not any of the lives I've met. Not now. Not anywhen. Not ever. Life is filled with messy, and lumpy and almost-but-not-quite fitting. There is no symmetry, no equal and opposite reaction, no tried and true equation that says "for every Part A of Sadness, add a Part B of Kindness..." Every soul, every life, is a jumble of goodness and meanness and pity and thoughtlessness and grand generosity and fear and glee and on and on. We are human, and so we have within us the seeds of everything imaginable (and a few not so imaginable, maybe, things that, by definition, I cannot even conceive of right now, or then, or ever).

So the man laying in the hospital bed, in the room of the very uncomfortable discussions, was just that: filled with huge generosity and the finer points of cruelty. He was kind and happy and mean depressed and generous and growing confused. He was in pain and rich in spirit. He loved fiercely and hated with passion. It did not balance. The pendulum swung wildly, less a back and forth and more a whirling gyroscope that spun madly - but it was beautiful and drew your eye.

This is my uncle, whose madly spinning life is starting to wobble and sway and slow. This is my uncle, who is complex and difficult and brilliantly present, and his life is fraying around the edges. This is my uncle, and discussions concerning him are less about healing and more - Please God, let there be no pain.

And all the while, today, while we talked, my mother and my cousins and the whole team of caregivers who were present in that room, I could only think that the room was filled with a thousand thousand blessings. 

My uncle is pretty sick. He's dying, in fact. Conversation is no longer about healing, but is laced with words like "palliative" and "comfort" and the alphabet soup of DNRs and POAs. We all hate it. We all love him. We all want to make sure that he's comfortable, that he's getting all the care that he needs. There was a team of caregivers present, to match the team of relatives and loved ones sitting in a small circle of sun and warmth and too-bright light that streamed through those huge windows. We all had a single purpose - let's figure out what this man needs and make sure that we can give it to him.

This man, this human being who has lived his life to the very edges, who is so very human, whose life is messy and whose breath is raspy and harsh and his arms seem to have shrunk even while his hands have remained so huge - big enough to conquer the world, surely - my uncle sits surrounded by care and concern and love. We cannot save him. We cannot heal him. We can go back and forth and around again about keeping his broken heart beating.

He is surrounded be love.

For all of his pain, for all that his ferocity and great, gawping energy is quieting - he is surrounded by love. 

During Elul, I am called to shift, to change, to turn the kaleidoscope so that the light bends and flows and the jeweled bits dance. Here is my lesson on blessings today: they are all around us, even in the discomforting, uncomfortable parts. There is grace in that, and infinite, boundless love.


Stacey Zisook Robinson
2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#BlogElul 2 - Act

Pray to God, but row towards shore.

I do a lot of praying these days. Not so much on the rowing. I seem to be a bit stuck. Sigh.

Don't get me wrong - I love the praying part. I get lost in the praying part. It's like finding a thread, maybe even that elusive blue thread, out of the corner of my eye, that one beautiful thread that allows you to dance along its very narrow edge - knowing that a single misstep that would cause you to fall, to be lost forever - but the joy of it, the grace of that dance is enough to carry you, with surety and ease, straight to God.

Like I said, I love that dance, and I get lost in it. But here's the thing: I don't just use that dance, that praying part, as a refuge, a safe haven in a restless, roiling sea of life, where chaos licks at a shore that is pocked and unstable, eroding faster than, well, sand in water. I use it to hide, to keep from rowing. I pretend, fingers in my ears and "la las" spilling from my lips, louder and louder to reach over the growing crash of waves that threaten to fill my tiny lifeboat and sink me, I pretend that praying is enough.

I forget, oh-so-conveniently, that I am responsible for rowing. You know the story, right? There once was a man, gentle and mindful and good, who was devoted to God. Prayed all the time. Practiced compassion and was righteous and kind. One day, while on a cruise, there was a horrible accident and this man ended up on a deserted island. The man, though, had the absolute strength of his faith, and knew, without a doubt, that God would save him. So he prayed. He prayed day and night, mostly echoing the tender, plaintive words of Moshe: Please God, save me. He felt a little uncomfortable, praying for his own redemption, but he knew that his wife and children and friends needed him, his employees needed him, and his clients and the community needed him. So he prayed.

On the second day, in the middle of his morning prayers, the man heard the distant drone of an airplane. Soon he saw it flying not far from his little island. So he prayed harder, "God, please save me!" The next day, as he prayed, he heard the sound of a chip's horn, sounding loudly, not too far off, but he refused to be distracted from his prayers. "God will save me, I know it!" Soon, he could only hear the sounds of his own prayers; the boat missed the island and continued its search for the man in other latitudes. On the third day, the man's prayers, softer now, as he was hungry and thirsty and nearing death, his prayers were interrupted by the thwap-thwap-thwap of a helicopter. The man, though, filled with the fire of his belief in the saving power of God, refused, again, to be distracted by the annoying noises around him, and he prayed all the more.

On the fourth day, the man found himself in heaven, standing before God - Creator of All Things, the Merciful Judge - and he scowled. Scowled! Oh, he was angry. "God!" he cried. "God - I have been your faithful servant, a good man. I've followed your commandments, provided for my family and my community, worked for peace, fought for justice. My faith was strong. And when I need You most, You ignored my most heartfelt pleas! Why didn't you save me?" His anger gave way to his pain.

God looked at the man with love and compassion. "But I sent you the plane, the boat, the helicopter..."

I sit in my boat, praying like mad, staring at the shore and willing it to come to me. I tell people that I am working to perfect the Telepathy App for 2014. They think I'm joking. I mostly am, but there is that small part of me, that little kid part of me - the kid with the pigtails and shiny maryjanes, who is sitting on the swings, motionless, staring at the playground full of kids, willing them - wanting them - to come near, to be next to, to care - that little kid is desperately praying: "You do it. I can't. Please."

There are times - days, months, eons that become concentrated into single instant - when I cannot act. I can only sit, watching life and the shore and the playground with utter longing. But I'm scared, and lonely and less than and vulnerable. I pray and pray and pray, but the oars absolutely defeat me. 
In my posed and poised position, I wait for release. For change. For movement. I forget, in the midst of my prayer, that it really does begin with me. Pray with your feet. Doesn't have to be a huge and boundless leap into the great unknown. A step. A single step, no matter how small, that step moves me forward. 

That is where faith lives. That is the beginning of redemption and the saving grace of God - a single step, from here to there.

This Elul, I pray. That's the easy part. But this Elul, I am reminded, that I am called to act. Through the fear and shame and guilt, and whatever else keeps me stuck and sitting alone on that swing, I must ACT. And in that action, no matter how infinitesimally small, that movement carries me closer to God and closer to you. 

Pray to God, but row towards shore...


Stacey Zisook Robinson
Elul 5774

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Elul 1 - Do #blogelul

I'm getting lots of practice in doing these days. Lots and lots and lots. And then more lots. I may want to breathe at some point, but there are things I have to do first. I have appointments to make, meals to cook, rooms to clean, beds to make, forms to sign, homework to check, lists to make, doctors to see, supplies to buy. There's a fearful symmetry to all the things that have to be done: wash then dry; fill it up, then empty it; drive away, drive back; wake up, pretend to sleep (I was going to say go to sleep but that wouldn't be quite true, and I figure, truth is kind of an operating principle in this exercise, right?). 

There's the not-so-small boy child (who is actually now taller than me) who has questions and carpools and places to be. There are friends for coffee and catching up. There are parents, just in from Scottsdale, who need a car, and a key, and lessons on using a smart phone. There's my uncle, who is failing, and I can't even begin to know what to do for him, except be there and hope that that's enough. And that's just from 8:06 - 9:37. AM. Then what?

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Eat. Drink. Walk. Run. Stumble. Fall. Get up. Do it all again.

I am drowning in all this doing.

I can't help but hear, in some small corner of my head, amid all the other noise that is urging me on, to fix more and do more and add one more thing to the ever-growing list of all things doing, this whisper of a voice: Stop

And when I listen to that small, whispery and annoyingly smart little voice, I am reminded that all of my doing - as wonderful and loving and necessary as it all is - is hollow and oh so brittle, that it is more running than doing. There's a lot of hiding you can do, when all you do is, well, do.

Here's the thing, though: it is Elul, and, because it is, I can, if I can, give myself permission to stop: stop hiding, stop running stop doing, in that empty, hollow brittle way. I can, if I can, do it differently (Go ahead, I dare me!) 

So I'm doing this again, this Elul blog-writing thing. Last year, I embarked on this odyssey somewhat unprepared - for the task at hand, for the difficulty of it, the tedium of it. Mostly, so unprepared for what I'd be on the other side of it. Every day, for twenty-eight days (and then ten more, for the Days of Awe - Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) (because I'm nothing if not a little obsessive) I wrote essays - and a few poems - based on prompts provided by my friend, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. 

It turned out that writing was the easy part. More difficult (more scary, more liberating, more revelatory) was the diving in, shining the light and letting it bend and reflect and refract, swimming through the thousand and ten layers that stand between me and my - what? heart? soul? chewy candy center? All that doing - I did it differently, and so was changed.

As I stand, poised at the edge of this journey again - that will take me through a wilderness, through lush valleys and arid deserts, through narrow, twisty passages that make me tremble with fear and delight, I pray for the courage to dive, to see. to bend and to do - so that I can return.

Rosh chodesh Elul sameach.
Stacey Zisook Robinson

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Light

It was dark when I drove home the other day. Not all that unusual, but I could swear that it was still light at that same time just a few days prior to that. And a week or two before that, the sun still blazed as I drove home. The sky was not fringed in purple and rose-gold; rather, the coming night only slowly leached the sky of color, turning the pale blue into pearl grey and white. Now it was a study in blue and black, with just the barest hint of scarlet at the very edge of the west.

It is amazing to me how much I measure the turning of the year by the stream of light. The year, of course, begins to die at the height of summer. Leave it to me to find a nugget of doom even amid the hazy, lazy, hot and humid ease of summer.

As a kid, summer was endless. It stretched before us like a river, wide and deep, glinting in sunlight, pockets of green shade and never-silent, a burbling chatter that fills up all the empty space. We wheeled and floated through time, all sticky with sweat and watermelon juice and neighborhood grit. It was glorious and forever. Friendships grew thick and fast as weeds, a promise of permanence to outlast the heat of summer, to withstand the coming of crisp air and shortened days.

Summer was long days of heat that built slowly and inexorably, until it felt as if your lungs would spontaneously combust. Summer was fireworks and fireflies, a cacophony of light and sound. It was crickets and grasshoppers and tar that stuck to your shoes, gooey strands of black that formed a tenuous bridge between the road and the soles of your shoes. It was the gathering heaviness of ozone just before a thunderstorm, when the air is alive with static and wind and the heavens open with a whoosh and a rush of rain, when the temperature drops in an instant, from stifling to a delicious cool.

And we were invincible then, in those eternal days of summer: invincible, untouchable. Immortal. We were lords of summer, lords of earth and air, of backyards and hidden creeks and fields of weeds and cracked concrete. Time was measured in light and sound in those days: Out of the house when the sky was still pale and liquid blue, and the dew bent the grass and caught the sun in rainbow crystals, returning only when we heard the clarion call of some mom or sibling calling us in for dinner. 

And as soon as we had inhaled that meal--- of meat and potatoes, certainly, and salad was iceberg lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers and home-made Thousand Island dressing--- red-fringed pink stuff made from ketchup and Miracle Whip--- never mayo, thank you very much--- after dinner was Kick the Can or Hounds and Hares or Elimination Frisbee, some game that brought the entire cadre of neighborhood kids together in a burst of competition and speed, and we would run and hide and throw and sweat and yell until it was too dark to see, until the crickets and mosquitoes and frogs and kids created a symphony of noise, and someone-- some mom, some dad, someone left behind the glory of summer, would call us in that one final time. And we came: reluctant, dragging, tired and spent, begging for just a few more minutes, a little bit longer, a little more time, pleasepleaseplease, just five minutes more, pleeeeease! We never did get a reprieve. We never got that extra five minutes. But we never stopped asking either. Every night was the first night, the first time, and possibilities were endless and hope tangible.

Even so, even in that summery land of forever, days end, night comes. Like a thief, darkness steals the light in unnoticeable snatches, and a curtain of silvery moonlight fills the sky where once the sun king reigned. We drive home in darkness. In the morning, dew laden fields become mist-shrouded, God’s breath lightly blanketing the dry gold reeds that turn slowly to deep russet and then dull brown. And suddenly, where once we leapt from sleep-tangled sheets to escape into the summer sun, we hunker down under blankets to steal five more minutes of sleep, of warmth, before school, before work, before growing up. 

When did summer become finite? When did night linger in my window just long enough for me to wake in darkness? When did driving with headlights ablaze take precedence over running madly and with stealth, under cover of darkness, to free my captive teammates from their prison in some neighborhood garage? What day, what time, what moment? I remember that hope of five minutes more, that mental stretch to claim eternity, that I-almost-have-it, I-can-almost-touch-it thing. I remember it lasting forever, but I cannot pinpoint when it was gone, and I wait impatiently for December 22, for when the light begins to linger a little longer, arrive a little sooner every day. 

In the meantime, I pull the blankets over my head while my windows frame a purple sky, claiming my five minutes more before turning on a light.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On the way to an answer

Do not text me;
I will not notice,
And may ignore it
anyway.
How can one hundred and forty of
anything 
compel me
to answer,
unless I merely seek
distraction
and not return?

Do not leave a message
that I will not listen to
I will let the sounds wash over
me in my
inattentive attention,
while I wait
for the next thing
to move me
to the next thing,
so that I can wait
for something
to move me
again.

Do not call
Or cry out
Or speak the words to me
that You spoke
to them--
to Abraham
who held a knife,
Or his son
who let him.
I will not answer.
I will not hear
from the depths of this
wilderness
that is choked with
the bits and bytes
and slings
and arrows
of my days.

I will answer
the sound of the shofar
that stayed the hand
that meant to slaughter;
That rang out
and tumbled the walls
that surrounded my heart;
That sang
in aching and awesome mystery
to announce
the presence of God.
I will hear
in this wilderness,
I will hear
in my longing
and I will turn
and turn again
and listen,
and I will
answer.



(c) Stacey Zisook Robinson
2014



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Waiting for Almost

The ancient Celts had the right idea: it is in the in-between that magic lives. Dawn, not daylight; dusk, not night. Really. Who would have felt the enchantment of Brigadoon if it lay under the bright golden summer blue sky? It was the very fact that it lay shrouded in fog and mist that we could believe in the magic of that place. There is an expectancy, an urgency that goes with that in between and almost time.

In between is all about possibility. It is the infinite and unknown. It is Schroedinger's Cat living large. Or perhaps dead. Or both together. It is where God lives, in the space that exsists between me and you. It is magic and mystery and enchantment.

I am fascinated by the in between, by the infinite.

I just wish I could do them, fit in that space. I have an impossibly difficult time with it. While I sense the majesty and magic, can feel the Almost gather its shape, I feel all lopsided and clumsy and wonky. I do not know how to respond. What I crave is knowing what will happen next. I want the rules, dammit. I want to know what's expected of me. Don't make me guess. I do not know how to relax. I cannot sit comfortably in the dynamic tension of in betweens. I feel it much like a cat or dog feels the tension of a coming earthquake: disaster is just around the corner and I want to bolt before it hits.

And right now, my life feels ruled by the twin novae of In Between and Almost.

It is uncertain and twisty, the path that lies at my feet. There is hidden quicksand, I am sure of it. I cannot see all the traps; there are shadows and menace and probable monsters. There is endless despair and eternal night. It gets worse. I crawl inside my head to escape this uncertainty and the tensions magnify.

My skin buzzes, my foot jiggles, my thoughts skitter, making up the eleventy seven thousand stories that go along with "what if..." In the absence of information, I make stuff up, and it’s never the make believe of happily-ever-after. In my stories, the evil wizard triumphs over good, the dragon eats the princess and the hero gets lost in the woods. And that's the beginning of the story; the end is not nearly so upbeat.

But here's the thing: even in the midst of my almost panic, I remember a grace note of something else, something that may almost be hope. There is this poised expectancy, like the ghostly breath of God that hovers over a field of grass at dawn, waiting for a single breath to give it shape and movement. That is my life: poised, motionless, waiting for a single breath to give it shape. And my instincts scream: run!

But I don't. I don't run. I stay, waiting, skin crawling, watching and waiting for what happens next. It can drive friends and lovers mad. I, myself, am an in between and an almost. I am neither here nor there. I flit and twirl and dance along a razor sharp path to get over the endless chasm of almost.

Relax. Let go. Let be. Just be. Wait.

Do they all not understand, even now, what I wouldn't give to be able to sit in comfort and quiet in the magic of that in between? Do they not know how glorious it would be to breathe and just be?

And I can almost get it. I can almost find that place, poised so exquisitely between the infinite and the possible. And that is the whisper of hope. I am almost, I am in between, and I can breathe. Just breathe. And the wonkiness, the twisty anxiety, they give way, with infinite slowness, to the beauty of almost and in between. And I can sit still, and wait, and go slow: for a moment, a breath, a day, some finite time where I don't have to know.

It is where God exists. It is where love resides and hope is born. It is redemption and grace. It is the place of my heart. Even in my fear, even in my panic and uncertainty, I am given these gifts. And I find peace.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Prayer for Hope

I sent my hope out into
the Universe.
Whispered and weightless,
I waited.

I waited to be struck whole,
made happy,
healed
By you;
saved
by You.
I waited for peace
to come.

But Hope is an action
And it doesn't wait,
or come when
called.
And you--
and You--
will never save me
or bring me
hope,
lying calm and clean
on platters of silver.

I hope with my feet,
not my head
or my heart,
which lies broken
and bruised
near the graves of
the fallen,
who lie silent
and still
near the fields
where you
and You
once tried to be holy,
once tried to hope,
once waited for peace to
come.

But hope is an action,
and peace is a
verb--
to lift me,
to fill me,
allow me to
soar.
When I hope with my feet
I am saved.
I am healed.
I am made holy
once more.


Stacey Zisook Robinson
(c) 2014


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Empress of Forever and Eternal Moments of Grace

Invariably, I just up and go to live in the Land of Forever. I am, perhaps, the Mayor there. Or the Empress. I like the ring of that - Empress of Forever. All I need is my tiara and sash, and I'll be set for, well, forever.

Do you know the place? 

Forever is the place I go - always - when Something Happens. It's always a capital letter event: a Loss, a Disappointment, some Painful Experience. Something that leaves me a little breathless, a little lost, a little twisty. Something Happens and I pack up, riding the train to Forever, where I set up camp and plant myself, to wait Forever. It's a bad neighborhood, Forever is: burnt-out buildings, tumbleweeds, and a howling, keening wind that wraps around my heart and gets under my skin until I want to crawl out of it. Instead, I wrap myself in the armor of my memory. Like an endlessly looped movie, I watch the scenes of my pain again and again. There is no surprise at the climax, only a certain kind of inexorable inevitability. There is comfort of a kind in that inevitability.

And I sit. And I wait. And I stay. Forever.

This is what happens, almost always. Almost every time, until the next time, and I don't know when I leave Forever, or how I get back - but I do. I re-enter the world of happy and frustrated and joyous and bills to pay and dinner to cook and life to live. From temporal stasis to moving at the speed of life in a heartbeat, a breath, unnoticed.

Except not this time. For the first time, I am not moving to Forever. For the first time, I seem to have made a side trip to the land of Used To Be. It's an oddly jarring journey. 

I don't go anywhere. I still wander through my life and dance to its syncopated rhythms. I cook and clean and watch and write, but in the quiet, offhand moments, when I allow the busyness of my life to still for a stuttery step, Used To Be comes sidling in through some back door, grabbing my attention in the corners and the almosts: almost asleep, almost awake, just out of sight, around the next bend. Almost but bot quite vulnerable. Or guarded (which is sometimes, almost, the same thing): I used to be. I used to look. I used to feel. I used to 

The particular verb escapes me. Or perhaps, it's all of them. An infinity of Used To Bes. 

I hear the whispers of that empty, soulless land as a death knell - what once was is no more and will never be again. I used to be younger. I used to be thinner. I used to be pretty. I used to...

I can't seem to find my way out of this place. All I can see, all I can feel, all I want is what used to be.

And perhaps, because it is early August, and the day before the twenty-second anniversary of my getting sober, I have just enough strength, just enough faith and hope to be able to breathe in Now for just a second. To be present, in this moment, and so, remember a few other Used To Bes.

I used to be drunk. If not all the time, then a lot of it. And if I wasn't drunk, then I was cleaning up the mess of my life that came as a result of being drunk. Or attempting to clean it up. More often than not, whatever I tried to fix, or manage or control just got me deeper into my brokenness.

I used to live in a tiny universe of one - lonely and isolated and silent: deathly, desperately silent. There was no you, there was no me, there was no God. Just a vast eternity of empty. I remember the cold of that. I remember slowly dying of that. I used to huddle in on myself, unable to move, to think or feel. I crawled inside a bottle, my shield against pain. I wanted to sink into the liquid courage of that drink. I would cling to my despair as if it could save me - or drown me. I don't think I really cared which. I used to survive - barely - and and used to fool myself that drinking would make everything just Stop.

I used to be dying - a sip, a drink, a bottle at a time. I lived in a Forever with no pause. No return. One stretched and attenuated Forever that never changed. I used to think that was okay.

And then, one day, twenty-two years ago, it wasn't okay anymore and I got sober.

One day, twenty-two years ago, the pain of drinking was greater than the fear of not drinking. I slipped free of that universe of one. I left the desolation of my prison, and entered a world of sound and light and motion. There was still pain. There was still fear. But there was joy, too. And grace. And living. There was living to do - and I got the bills and the cooking and the cleaning and the driving and schlepping and loving and loosing and grieving and laughing. I got it all. Every breath, every whisper. These days, I even get to take a trip, every so often, to Forever, to set up camp and sit and wait, in silence and in pain - but those trips got shorter every time. The distance between that Eternity and this Now has been bridged. The path is still narrow, and sometimes dangerous, but it's been lit by an infinity of hearts, and there are hands to hold in the darkness while I learn to navigate its sometimes twisty, sometimes merely curved pathways.

And so I move from the harshness of Used To Be to a soft and reverent remembrance: for every Used To Be that I mourn, there are a thousand blessings for all that I have been given. Now is a fine time to be living. Now, not what was, nor what might be, but now, an eternal moment of grace and gratitude.

Thank you for your strength, your laughter and your love, and for helping to light my way as I stumble along this blessed path, from Forever to Used To Be to Now. I am endlessly grateful for your graceful presence in my life. 

07 August 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Rain Did Not Know

The rain didn't know of
this terrible rift--
the mitosis
and meiosis
of land and people
and hearts,
split and divided
on a bloody battlefield.

It didn't know
That a split and a splinter
would lead
to a shattering in Phases,
so that every cell--
every word--
every shout
and cry
would double,
and double again,
and copy--
again
and again
and again,
Each the same.
Each different.
Where once there was
One
Now a thousandfold,
Then more.

The rain didn't know
of rhetoric
or right.
It merely fell,
gentle,
cool
against the dry
and divided
land.