she understands you worry about the future
keep visiting the past as if rereading
the chapters will help you to understand
she invites you to be here
sitting and walking, just breathing
as if there’s no place else to be
as if this is the missing link
the sanctuary you always sought
The Last 15 Minutes of a 45 Minute Sit
leaning into what’s next
the body screams to get up
as the mind conspires to leave
not yet, the heart whispers
just one more minute
as body and mind agree
to settle, to relax
then the sound of the bell
an invitation to enter life
one minute, one breath
one day at a time
bowing to everyone you meet
reflecting True Nature
when it’s hard to see
because there is clarity in you
Gone, the sweet tartness of plump blueberries,
the crunch of cinnamon peppered almonds
in a sea of steaming oatmeal,
now a gurgling afterthought in the belly.
Gone, the tender tones of his teaching instructions
after the birth of an 8:45am sit,
umbilical cut to silence, to sadness
not knowing if I’ll ever see or hear him again.
Gone, the scene of a Saturday morning
girls’ soccer game at the local middle school,
the house with the rose stems
beheaded by the fall season,
white petals decaying between wood chips and soil,
the bright yellow diamond 15 mile per hour
speed bump sign as I turn the corner
of walking meditation towards home--
images encased in the album
of memory that will fade.
I’m chasing after the high school bus,
first kiss, first lover, first child, first job
the way I looked in that residency picture at 31,
abundant glossy black hair and clear complexion
though nothing was ever really clear.
Gone, the thought of what’s next on the schedule
as my invincible partner collapses
on our bed from excruciating back pain,
his body subject to breakdown
like everyone else I know.
Gone, the belief that this retreat will last forever--
a perpetual bomb shelter of safety
against the war with life
when the vihara was always within.
Gone. Gone. Gone.
A birthday candle wish that was never promised,
and a blessing of breath while it lasted.