Humbled

Go to where the flowers are
Walk there and plant yourself
For a while
Sit with them
Breathe in their scent
Let them breathe in your fragrance
And a conversation has begun.
A coyote howls across the lake
Sending messages for miles
A squirrel leaps from tree to tree
Traversing pathways in the sky
Worms, millions of them underfoot
Keep earth from turning to stone.
And I am humbled by each in turn
As I sit and breathe this in.
This is what humbles me.

_____
When you like a flower, you pluck it. When you love a flower, you water it daily. Those who understand this, understand life. -Buddha

Both

Sometimes you encounter
A complicated face
On the verge
Of both laughing, crying
The smile crinkles
The eyes that betray
Compassion and worry
Because every time you flip it
There is always the other side
I just saw a famous photo
Of an almost anonymous 9 year old girl, smoking
Finger nails pointed, eyes lined only
With makeup, painted on history
Defiant strength and terror, both
Shining through her eyes
I just saw a photo of a famous poet
Hair streaked grey, brow creased with experience
Lined face smiling, a generous smile
The world’s generosities and vulnerabilities, both
In the worry of her eyes.
Almost laughing, almost crying
Both.
We know how each story ends
It’s right there on the internet
We root for the defiant little girl
And the poet worries still.

Practice

Let’s practice being brave
You and I, you and me
We’ll take a small step
In the direction we know least
And I bet it leads to
A little wormhole that
Twists time inside out a little
Just a little
And pop- that silver whisker’s twinkle
Moves to your eye
And the laugh crinkles that are always there
Beckon us to take another step
With a little rock in our step
So we dance into it
And courage = movement
And bravery = fluidity
One step leads to the next
And together we flow.

Note to Self

Why do I like yoga?
Because it’s like saying
I can
and
I will
Even if it’s just on this
Little rectangle of earth
For 15 or 30 or 60 minutes
In the middle of a laundry list day.
It’s showing up
For yourself
And connecting
With all the vastness outside
And all the vastness inside
Considering your stance and breath
Making tiny adjustments that feel enormous
Because you know yourself well enough
At least on the mat in that moment
And feeling yourself building
Something-
Competence and also surrender-
And the freedom which that yields
From minute to minute
And day to day.
Why am I writing this?
A little note to self
To not forget
To show up each day
To be gentle but steadfast
To be intentional
To reconnect
To practice and feel progression
And embody both
Power and transcendence,
Alternating between the
Weightlessness of floating in water
And the solidity of roots and rock.
Why do I like yoga?
Because I am saying
I can.
And
I will.

Resolution

Draw a line in the sand
And take a leap over
Some boundaries break
Look back at all the words crossed out
It makes a pattern, a voice
Of negative space, beautiful
What’s not been done
What’s not been written
A beautiful vessel of air and breath held
Holding what is.
So let’s make our resolutions
But know it’s ok to break them
When in the moment and
The right decision is not made in absentia
After all.

Chai

Do I recount the happy times
And revel in an antique moment
Yellowing at the edges?
Do I write of sadness
Or memories incomplete?
Trying to capture what is gone
Trying to relive a time that seemed
Very mundane while living it
But I now see was
A last laugh a last story read to the boys
A last annoyance a last resolution
A last hug a last plan a last hope
A last visit to the house with tea in the kitchen
A last “I love you” said and heard by me
And by you
A last breath.
You always said we never know
When it will be the last time we see each other
So sadly true, so many little truths
And now I whisper “You were right”
But I can only imagine you saying “You see?”
Your last day was a chai
You would have smiled at that
The eighteenth day, I hope it was blessed.

Gray

Feeling a little gray.
You know, like when you
Let your eyes go out of focus
And all the sharp edges blur
And the colors wash out a little
And that soft gray of twilight
Or dawn creeps and infuses.
The gray of an elephant’s memory
Of a stream in reflection.
It’s not a bad feeling,
Comfortable like a well worn wool blanket
A little scratchy and matted
But warm from your own heat
Until compared to the brightness
Sharpness and activity you expect
That’s expected of you
And then suddenly you’re wearing
A hair shirt and scrambling for the light switch.
I say pull it around you a little closer
Breathe deep and lean into
This, which has its own soft
Clarity to impart.