Archive | September 2015

I am in a Constant State of Jugement

I am in a constant state of judgment. The key, I think, is to not judge about that constant state. I do not have a life where I cannot sit at my keyboard, on a fall crisp morning, wife and child, loafing and loving, Springsteen singing about John Henry, warm team by my hand. This is the life I have. This moment is where I have brought myself, every moment before in complete integrity with my current breath.

Some may know this story. Others may not.

There was a grandmother and her daughter, driving one late afternoon. The sky was clear, darkening blue with high, while clouds. The air was still warm from the sun of the day and the women had their window down as they drove back the 5 miles from the store where they had picked up the butter and cream they needed, along with some fresh corn for dinner. In the back seat of the car, there was a 14 year old girl, daughter and granddaughter. She felt unusually at peace and didn’t know why but in looking back on it it was clear that the silent wisdom of three generations under one small roof has that effect. The young one wasn’t paying particular attention but the mother and grandmother were making light conversation about things already known. The sounds were more for the comfort of being than for any need to communicate words. The young girl was gazing and daydreaming as young girls do, head against the side window, lost in harmony.

There were no skid marks.

The truck was in the women’s lane when they came over and around the curve in the road. He was travelling at 60 mph and they were travelling at 50. There were no skid marks.

There was time for both mothers to hitch their breath, quickly in. No human sound escaped before the single, crushing thud of a million pieces being shattered at the same time. The mothers were gone in the time it took to hitch their breath. The young one endured more pain before she was gone and then they were all gone. Under the high clouds, on a darkening fall afternoon, five minutes from home. There was nothing more.

Who expects to die? Silly humans. So silly. So prideful that we are the greatest, that we have problems that require us to be sad, or perplexed or to suffer without thought or recognition. That we can change the vastness of space and time; oh my lord how we have been led astray and how we lead our children the same way. Oh my, oh my…what will it take…what will it take.

What Must Be

Caring for living things

the actual

gentle

pouring

of water – considerate of what is brought and what is taken

onto thirsty flowers

We are like the dancing sparks

shot forth from the bonfire of life

wildly unpredictable

in our common certainty

of extinguishment.

Will we survive across the stars

are we survived?

Are there bonfires burning

ahead

in the darkness

My god my god my god

if you have not found your way

my god – do not stop –

my god – do not stop –

My god my god my god

if you think you have found your way

my god – do not stop

my god – do not stop

What must be

so more can see

so that I can see

so that you can see

What must be

The comfort of conflict

Do you know the essence of a thing?

The beginning and ending of things

The way that the light

Fills the air

Resting on the couch

On a human Sunday morning

Only thing moving

Is the steam

Lilting and twisting and…

Gone

All things lie in the middle

Between the ends

And between the ends

You think of as beginnings

And between the ends you don’t think of

And between those

And between those

And between

Oh my god…the pain of the balance

Oh my god.

The pain of the balance.

You cannot read this quick of heart

There is nothing here

To get to

Nothing here to answer

It’s ok to turn,

Trembling

from your love

In fact – Oh Terrible –

You must…
you must.

My best friends, most dear, most reliable

Friends

They do not change

And I am too old now

To fool myself

That it matters.

I cannot express how much I want it to matter.

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

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