I am learning to show up even when I want to stay home.
I am learning that wants can’t always be trusted
but often intuition can.
I am learning that I don’t need to know how it will turn out
in order to make a make a move.
I am learning that no one else knows either.
Posts Tagged ‘letting go’
They call it urge surfing.
I call it swimming against the Gulf Stream
In the dead of night.
… forgiveness is not rational. One can seldom find a reason to forgive or be forgiven. Forgiveness is often undeserved. It may require a dimension of justice (penance, in traditional terms), but not always, for what it holds sacred is not fairness, but self-respect and community. Forgiveness does not wipe away guilt, but invites reconciliation. And it is as important to be able to forgive as it is to be forgiven.
-Sara Moores Campbell, Into the Wilderness
He invites us to call up a regret we hold, a mistake. Through our restless quiet echoes the faint string of notes we each play: I wish I had and I wish I hadn’t and if only. The salt, he tells us, is that regret, that unforgiven act or omission. In water, it never vanishes entirely — there is no forgetting — though the hold it has on us dissipates. It joins with the larger body of life, of surrender, of renewal.”Anyone who is so moved,” he says, “may come up and add a pinch of salt to the water.”
One by one, the congregants rise. Does music play? It’s hard to hear above the gathering notes of memory. Our collective, unspoken remorse finds its chord and travels along the thread of bodies. We shuffle and nod to one another. We make our way to the place where we are allowed to let go.
At the front rest two clear vessels, soap-bubble delicate and huge as bellies. Water catches golden light filtering in from an October sun. Two deep platters of salt welcome a pinch or a fistful, depending. Some of us, I confide later, could do with a shovel. Each of us drops our quantity of crystals in through the glass mouth. The salt bursts into tendrils and swirls to a cloud. In one motion, our mistake both falls and rises, dissolving into light. As we watch it go, each of us says these words:
“I forgive myself and begin again in love.”
We make our way back along that strand holding us to the place we started. Something is changed, though. The path feels emptied somehow. The rows of seats, more capacious.
I watch the last of the congregants weave through the space. Each of them, like me, carries these sorrows, these hurts. We recognize the damage we have certainly caused. We can see how it lives on not only in us but around us in the small world we inhabit.
Each of them, like me, goes on anyway.
For this one moment, alongside the unlikely echo of a shared chord, we are free to give way to forgiveness.
We begin again, together, in love.
Image: Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1970
Posted in Children, Choices, Determination, Home, Parenting, tagged children, choices, conflict, home, letting go, Mary Oliver, parenting, Roz Chast, simplicity, summer, vacation on June 28, 2016| 2 Comments »
We are at the midpoint of our nine days together. On the first night, I arranged to pick up my son’s little buddy from down the hall to join us for the free Seldom Scene bluegrass concert at a local park. Bug snarled and fussed while I packed up watermelon and blankets. Then at the show, the banjo twanged, the audience swayed. Bug and his buddy rounded up a half dozen other kids and played soccer in a clearing until the trees twinkled with lightning bugs. He rode home flushed and grinning.
Yesterday morning, when packing up to go to the Spark!Lab at the Smithsonian, Bug fought until he cried. Then on the train, he thrummed with questions and leaned forward in his seat peering out the front window down the dark tracks. At the museum, he spent 2-1/2 solid hours building laser mazes, a sonar rover, a helmet with night vision and echolocation.
my tongue craves skin, my skin
tongue. how to eat when the only flavor
is salt? too poor for the extravagance
of a meal served to me, i recall the logic
of giving the beloved what you want
for yourself. this woman
is her own again, my only lover
here. In the kitchen i peel
off my clothes and wrap around my hips
an oceanic gust from the cotton bolt
i brought from Zimbabwe
half this life before
and gave to a dear one who returned to me
one yard in thanks, tiny stitches,
this skirt. heat tears through
onion silk. with the long blade
i slice gold threads of ginger. oil pops
as punjabi mc strips the carapace
and wings unfold from my hips.
roil and scrape. peanut, coconut, turmeric, cumin.
cabbage, tomato, cauliflower, honey.
masala dust clings to raw arms, ribs
sweat red clay heat. mouth gorged
with song, the feeding precedes
the eating. my tongue thrills at the naked
steam curling into its hidden cells, my skin
tilts towards the kaleidoscope
of scents. i serve my beloved
a dish and she returns to me
one birth in thanks, tiny bloodbeats,
this night. the only flavor
is never the only flavor. the body can taste
every texture of loss. the body can learn
to boil sugar
from the heart.