I'll never forget my sister's green dress,
soft as moss, and softer still
her embrace, made delicate by
tear after tear of letting go - finally
and my long lost cousin, tall as a mountain,
his quiet strength and eyes,
oh the eyes, and when they met mine
we knew, we just knew
and my brother-in-law's speech
full of confidence and bravado, as is
his way, whose voice broke humbly
when he mentioned his daughter, who died
and the brightly lit luncheon, where
everyone noticed the patchwork quilts
decorating the walls, intricately, carefully
stitched, popping with color and texture
here and there, like the pop of energy, the pop
of Life, like flowers bursting, or popcorn
popping, all along the long white table
a quivering chin, a contorted face, a smile
or a laugh, and eyes meeting eyes
with a touch or a glance, and gazes drifting
to unknown places.
Life being Life
made brighter by
my Father's death.
Thank you Dad - for everything.
July 17, 2023
Freedom is here!
No, it's not, says the constriction in my chest, the slight thumping of my heart, and the story about its cause, and the subtle worry that comes with it. And in addition to the health problems, come thoughts of what else about this Shelly-life is problematic: no specifics come to mind, just a vague sense of bracing and contraction that feels like . . . limitation. That's the word! Limitation.
And then a door opens, not a big one mind you, but something opens nonetheless, with the simple recognition, acknowledgement of the truth, by putting a word to the feeling so that it fits like a key in a lock and when it turns, Click!, there's an opening and a shift.
What price freedom? My ego says I want it, but it clearly holds back, hangs on, prefers the constriction that remains over letting go. Because letting go means death, death of my separate sense of me-ness: Shelly hanging on to her Shelly-ness, her story about her life, what's wrong about it, what part's not good enough yet, what might happen in the future if she doesn't fix it now; all these things that Shelly likes to chew on, like a dog with a bone. It gives her a sense of, I'm doing something. It says, Hang on, hang on, hang on. Just hang on.
But the me-ness is sad and it's tired. And the pain in her chest breaks open like a cloud, releasing its rain as tears fall down, bringing relief and unclenching and opening into space, into nothingness, into freedom: no Shelly.
And Freedom says, See? It's not so bad. All you did was let go. All you did was die.
Celebrating the freedom that is, that's always here, that's who you are, with love,