The world is crying. With rain.
Time shrunk into single themes.
Shame time. Guilt time. Loss time. Hate.
Folded onto itself, like the press of an accordion.
Each fear, for instance, experienced at once.
All the ways we are wrong.
No room for breath.
Expanding the folds of time.
With the rain.
On Crucifixion Day, I think of therapists–all those who make sacred the pain of others. Of social workers–who advocate for those who suffer. Of activists–who champion the cause. Of teachers–who point the way through. Of artists–who awaken the soul of hope. Of politicians–who define the course of a nation.
By Easter Eve, I found my mind, petal soft–the gift of a day of meditation with Tara Brach. By Easter morning, there is a personality Resurrection. Petals crushed by grasping.
I missed Easter once before–in 2007–during a training. I wasn’t nearly as sad this time (my kids are older now), but I did mourn the absence of ritual until I realized that I had been delivered an even better Easter Basket:
Deep presence… my rich chocolate bunny;
Beginning again (and again)–my egg hunt;
Tara’s jokes–color-full jelly beans;
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health–the basket;
300 students–the grass of consciousness;
Tara Brach‘s Loving Presence weekend–received.
BLESSED BE OUR HANDS
by Diann Neu
Blessed be the work of our hands.
Blessed be these hands that touch life.
Blessed be these hands that nurture creativity.
Blessed be these hands that hold pain.
Blessed be these hands that embrace with passion.
Blessed be these hands that tend gardens.
Blessed be these hands that close in anger.
Blessed be these hands that plant new seeds.
Blessed be these hands that harvest ripe fields.
Blessed be these hands that clean, wash, mop, scrub.
Blessed be these hands that become knotty with age.
Blessed be these hands that wrinkle and scar from doing justice.
Blessed are these hands that reach out and are received.
Blessed are these hands that hold the promise of the future.
Blessed be the works of our hands and hearts.
One of the radical edges of experience is grief…
The prospect of facing up to the sharper edges of grief can prevent us from having the fullest experience of whatever frontier we are on… (because ) it’s always a great temptation to retreat away from that frontier…
to just “deal with it”…
This narrows the understanding of what you are actually confronting…
The essence of the ability to feel the fiercer edges of experience is to fully incarnate our life at any one time;
the edges are our existence ripening, and the experience of them allows us to taste the ripe fruit of our experience, thereby celebrating and understanding the particular season that we are experiencing…
Attempt to feel your aloneness in as startling and clear a way as possible…
The Well of Grief
Those who will not slip
Beneath the still surface on
The well of grief
Turning down through its
Black water to the place
We cannot breathe
will never know
The source from which
The secret water
cold and clear
In the darkness
The small round coins
By those who
for something else
There is a cycle of experience which human beings are heir to which is part of their inheritance…
If you do feel grief and loss fully, it’s suddenly placed in some kind of enormous context that makes sense, that gives you an essential understanding of the beauty and magnificence of the world which we occupy.
Rest in peace Betty
you have loved and been loved
a heavenly birthday
Kelly Salasin, October 2011
(Note: Betty first welcomed me into her home as a highschool friend of her son’s, and later became the beloved grandmother of my youngest siblings–when our mother Bonnie fell in love with her son.)
In tippy-toed embraces
Love was Lost
when they Divorced
and Hiding its Face
among the stars
I never thought to
see Love again
Never wanted to
Yet to my unabashed
Many years later
when I myself
was a Mommy
tippy-toe kissing a Dad
I found it
in the strangest place…
of my Father
Who would have thought
that it’d be there
As I grew older
Love was less shy
about showing itself to me:
it made me cry,
As I watched my “stepFather”
hold my mother’s hand
while she died
i imagine our “children,”
the fruit of our love–and strife,
Dancing in the sky
Among the stars–
Created of pure love,
Too pure for earthly confinement
Dancing above us nonetheless,
Skirts moving with the breeze,
those children of mine in the sky
Looking down at me
Running here and there in
Where they belong
Kelly Salasin, 2002
(to read the story behind the poem, The Loss of Love and Innocence, click here)