Dear where and how I am just exactly now,
I want to welcome you.
And apologize for the cold shoulder I’ve turned
instead of the warm embrace
that I offer now.
Honestly I’ve been scared to accept you
because you’re a really uncomfortable place for me
and it’s habit to dodge and resist something
that feels as dangerous as you seem.
I want deadlines and answers and,
honestly, I feel pretty homesick for the whole idea of “safe.”
Even if it always was an illusion,
the concept felt comforting and, well,
I wasn’t able to have this conversation with you earlier
because I sort of froze up,
hunkered down from the fears and flares that keep flushing up sudden
like pheasants exploding from a field.
You’ve rattled me, and I thought if I waited you out a little longer
you’d go back to wherever you came from and
then I’d cozy my mind into taking a breather
from the hornet’s nest of dread
that feels sometimes suspended from the dark corner of my imagination.
But here we are instead and clearly you’re here
until you aren’t.
And I haven’t even thanked you for coming
because, honestly, I’ve resented the intrusion.
But I’ve been watching and listening and have to admit
that there is something beautiful about what’s happening here.
Like an awkward yoga pose
that holds and holds until I’m shaking and tottering;
there’s just no way to be smooth about you.
The fact that I’m feeling even more uncool than ever,
more uncertain, more vulnerable,
is something I accept.
But here you are still, and there’s something that I love
about how you’re pressing on my entitlement issues
until I have to feel them angry rising.
I never wanted or asked for this,
never was cavalier about the virus,
yet here I am.
Why can this land for me as somehow not right?
Why do I feel that maybe I should get a different road?
One that lets me feel large and in charge, or at least safe.
What if here and now, exactly as it is, is happening
( not that some puppet master is playing me to build character or teach a lesson
– I don’t believe that – but this storm may be raising the water levels
in some rivers that my soul will thrill to see).
Maybe I can learn to un-freeze
even in this,
to find the beauty in the breaking.
To shake off the fear (as many times as it takes)
and live wholehearted whatever cards this deck serves up.
Death comes to us all,
but I don’t want to turn my life in
more than once.
So I’m thinkin’ maybe stop un-living some of these hours,
especially since the glass is getting heavier on the bottom
every single day.
“The moment in which the mind acknowledges,
‘this isn’t what I wanted but it’s what I got,’
is the point at which suffering disappears.
Sadness might remain present but the mind is free
to console, free to support the mind’s acceptance of the situation,
free to allow space for new possibilities to come into view.”
– Sylvia Boorstein
Thanks for having a listen; I appreciate the gift of your witness.
Just to clarify (writing words down = always the risk of misunderstanding):
I’m navigating the challenge of living fully and unafraid in fearful situations and times.
Not suggesting anyone ignore risks.
(I’m masking. And distancing. That’s not even on the table.)