WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

CONTROL

            In my youth, I often heard phrases like ‘control yourself’ and ‘have a little self-control’, and it used to make perfect sense to me that I can control myself, as if  ‘I’ am over here and my ‘self’ is over there, and all I  have to do is preside over that ‘self’ and everything will be fine. Happily, though, I realize now that life is far more complex than that – and far more beautiful. Being able to control things implies that life is composed of countless separate ‘objects’, some of which are stronger than others and therefore able to exercise control over them. I spent probably 50 of my almost 80 years fully believing that, and therefore trying my best to hold sway over as many ‘objects’ as possible in the whirlwind of a power-struggling world. Gradually, though, I have come to see that there are actually no separate objects anywhere, and therefore there is no need for – and no possibility of – gaining control.  All of life – the entire endless universe – is like an infinite wind, and I am simply, and luckily, a wonderful breeze in that wonderful wind.  I can no more control anything than a breeze can control a wind, or a ripple can control an ocean. I can just be the perfect breeze, the flawless ripple, that I always am, and let the wind and the sea of life do its breathtaking work. 


CONTROL
(Patricia F., 46, Blessings, CT)

She sometimes feels out of control, 
but then she says to herself with kindness 
that that's impossible,
because nothing's ever out of control, 

not the sky in storms above Blessings,
since all storms
are spanking new and perfectly flawless, 

and not the sea,
since it always sings an unblemished song, 
even when it seems to be screaming, 
because the screaming has a secret synchronization, 

and not her life,
which blossoms, yes, in slapdash ways, 
but the slapdash is always 
under clandestine, quiet control.

Here’s a snapshot of a beautiful wildlife preserve called ‘The Great Swamp’, which we passed through on our lovely 12-mile bike ride this morning on the Amtrak Rail Trail in Kingston, RI….

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

EVERYTHING WORKS

            Sometimes small things don’t seem to work in our house, which actually gives me the opportunity to stand back and see, again, that the whole world always works flawlessly, in one way or another. If a window won’t close easily, I could say it’s working very well as one of my teachers, telling me to take my time and stay patient when problems arise. If the flow of water from our well slows while I’m showering, the good news is that it’s flowing more slowly because it’s working in perfect rhythm with the condition of the water table beneath us. If a light switch won’t switch on, it’s possibly working quite nicely as a reminder to me to stay serene and let small problems pass by like the breezes that are blowing outside this morning, making trees sway in the most perfect ways.    

WORK IN PROGRESS

This poem isn't sure what it wants to do.
It has wings, 
but they're just made of words
on a silver screen. 
It has the feet of dancers and racers,
but whispering is what it loves to do. 
It was born in the morning, 
but may bring its best gifts at sunset.
It praises the pulse of life, 
but also screams from its veins and bones. 
It's a small, confused poem
in kids shorts and sneakers, 
poor thing.

        

A BEST FRIEND

Monday, July 19, 2021

If we say a best friend is one who is always faithful, then, strange as it seems, the present moment is one of my best friends. Being always by my side – always, no matter how bad things get – the present moment is unswerving in its promise to me. In the sunshine of bliss or the darkness of sorrow, the present moment is right there with me, as new as a new day. It’s the most steadfast of friends, and, more importantly, the most perfect of friends, since it is always exactly what it has to be. Something is perfect if it is as good as it is possible for it to be, which means this present moment (and the next one, and the next) is, indeed, perfect. I can make the next moment be different, but this exact moment, right now, is superbly what it must be. What luck, to have a faithful and perfect friend with me, moment by moment! 

A LIFE

Sometimes he feels his life 
flutter like a butterfly. 
Other times, 
his life is a bush 
with so many blossoms 
he can't possibly count them. 
Sitting at home 
in the flash of afternoon sunshine, 
his life looks like something 
from a land of gold.