It’s officially April 11th, which makes me happy, simply because I love the number 11. I am supposed to be writing a poem every day for the month of April, and though I spent most afternoon at the gym or in the library trying to wrap my head around Wittgenstein (and failing), I did manage a small, split-pea of a poem.
“Starling, I lit your heart to hear it.
Against my window, your ghost brothers
tell me how to bend, praise her body,
I went to a friends house later. Sat and watched things. Felt the way the wood-grain feels on my toes. Left with the wind feeling as though newness was about to arrive. Haven’t felt that way in a long time. Driving, there was a stop in the road. Can’t explain it. Perhaps you know what I mean. Sat at a red light, a tangled feeling rose up. Complex in its body, but solid in its word.
Something about reaching my limit. Limits are good, yes?
Teach me why, or where to go from here, I said.
Not much to it. Just remember this moment. How the wind feels. Perhaps you need a chant, it said.
What chant, I said.
Find it in the bath, it said.
So I took Meister to the bath. Love. I read some sermons and felt the water turn lukewarm.
Here is what I found. Perhaps this is a chant of sorts for this new turn I feel inside.
“Much prayer and fasting, strenuous work and so forth is the greatest folly if a man does not reform his ways but is irritable and restless….Where grace is, and love, things are easy to do….A wise man says, ‘I do not judge of people by the clothes they wear or the good food they eat, but by whether they have love.”
You know, it’s been a mixed Spring. Perhaps caught up in the chaos of daily–things, I haven’t been able to give myself perspective on exactly what is going on with me. I used to be so sure. I used to have a measure, a way of keeping lists. But tonight, yes, a chant, or a looking back.
Right before I read this section, I thought, “am I doing what needs to be done? What am I accomplishing?”
It’s strange to work within a new system of doing. My anxiety diminished so much, that I have no way to check. But here it is. The hard work that had me under its power for so long, the sleepless nights of worry “am I doing enough, writing enough, accomplishing enough” kept me dead.
“Much prayer and fasting, strenuous work and so forth is the greatest folly if a man does not reform his ways but is irritable and restless.”
So, no. Maybe I don’t work as many hours as I did before. Maybe I don’t read the same amount. But the lessons are coming in different ways. Taking time to ask myself if I want to sit in the grass and just lie there. Do I? Yes, please. For a couple hours, do nothing but sit in the sun? Yes. Stillness. Reaching out for love. Has this helped me?
I don’t know. But I think I’m more capable of letting You in.
The wood grain on my feet. How it felt. At an apartment with strangers. New faces. For a second, I thought “I shouldn’t go out. I should stay in. Read.”
But I did go out. And I was greeted with faces of the One who sent me to sing something about Opening.
Lotus pose in the middle of an apartment in Brooklyn. Who would have thought. The movement around me, the smell of laughter. And I was in bliss. Finding I am capable of learning love through faces which, at any moment, could be yours.
Chant: let me not be irritable, or anxious.
But in all things through–
This post brought to you by the number 11.
I thought, once more before I go, that I’d somehow reach a person through a dream.
Instead I found an old letter they wrote under my pillow. I must have put it there when I wasn’t looking.