Seeing stars…

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“I’m seeing stars,”  I told her when she asked how I was doing
because I’ve felt it to my bones,
this sense of getting my lights punched out,
like the old cartoon quips,  “Ka – pow!”
– circumstances seem to be pummeling so hard
I find myself flinching when the phone rings.

I want to rush the pain,
to charge it like a provoked mama elephant
and silence the sounds mocking my joy,
voices that seemed to say
this is as far as you can go
with your silly, happy songs and all that
life-is-beautiful crap;
watch what happens if your cup shatters
and all the peace drains out
(biff….bam!…..bop!)
and you stay down because you have no right
to that kind of  joy.”

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Yeah,  that’s how it feels sometimes,
doesn’t it.

But I’ve chased the beauty anyway
and watched the horizon as the sun drops down into darkness
with a heave of light
and bubbles of brilliance hang soft in the after air
and I’m seeing stars in this,  too,
and how they dazzle and dance and do their magic
over tired places in my heart

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and somehow it opens  me wider,
watching all  these shiny whispers
as they drift and sizzle soft and hopeful,
calling,  always calling,
that it’s an even larger joy we’re meant for
than I’ve tasted so far,
so keep plowing and planting
and tending and caring for
this tender joy
as if it’s the last crop I was born to grow.

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 “Sadness is easier because it’s surrender.
I say make time to dance alone with one hand
waving free.”
-from Elizabethtown

 

stronger in the showing up….

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I keep showing up,
carving out the space and time
to rest my eyes on the sky
while the sun shimmers low on the horizon,
suspended like a breath,
then exhales into the night,

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keep being wowed by how quickly it happens,
how easy to  slip right by
if I just did this one more thing quick first;
like a whisper in a crowded room
I could miss  it in the scurry
because life is sweeping past
and if you don’t kneel down and put your hand into the river
you may not recognize.

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And I have sometimes drawn back from the living
because I feel so much,
sometimes feel it all too much,
and the pain can make me flinch and close down and curl up tight inside
for just a little while
and as  I watch all these ordinary little whiles fill up
with so much that I wouldn’t want to miss,
bits I’ve mostly missed my whole life long,
it shakes me awake to the choices I hold

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and as each evening I walk back to my car
rubbing the  sunspots from my eyes so I can drive home,
I feel stronger in the showing up,
as if all of this light is infusing my choosing
as these days, they quickly go by.

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“You can change or stay the same.
There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you make the best of it.  I hope you see things that startle you.  I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.  I hope you live a life you’re proud of.  If you find that you’re not,  I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
-Eric Roth,
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay

painted in possibility….

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I’ve chased the light each evening this September
down winding roads,  across fields and ditches,
plunging through brush to find sky enough,   horizon enough,
to stand in that last lingering splash of kiss
before the sun dives down to wake the other side.

I feel hungry for it,
that mystic moment,
that parting flash of smile,
because for that one sweet spot in time,  life feels slow and soft and mellow
instead of how of often seems,

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and I join the sky in celebration,
a burst of thanks for the wine and cream
and bristle and blush and gravel of the day,
the all of it weaved together beautiful from parts and pieces
that were ordinary and sobering and glorious and blistering.

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I see it,  whispered clear in color and light,
this hope in a love that doesn’t leave or go cold,
doesn’t quit on the day before it’s finished and done
and it fills my cup
till some  fear gets rinsed out
and some ache gets healed up
and the broken heartstrings of the day get re-strung
and tuned to possibility again.

For that one golden moment,  everything seems
glazed in possibility
and that is reason enough.

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“Far too many people die with a heart that’s gone flat with indifference,
and it surely must be a terrible way to go.
Life will offer amazing opportunities,
but we’ve got to be wide awake to recognize them.”
-Beth Hoffman
from “Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt”