Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Of What Surrounds Me

Whatever it is I am saying, I always
Need a leaf or a flower, if not an
Entire field. As for sky, I am wildly
In love with each day’s inventions, cool blue
Or cat gray or full
Of the ships of clouds, I simply can’t
Say whatever it is I am saying without
At least one skyful. That leaves water, a
Creek or a well, river or ocean, it has to be
There. For the heart to be there. For the pen
To be poised. For the idea to come.

Whatever it is I am doing I would like a feather to be there. If not a feather, then may I pray for the grace of birds to be nearby – in the yard, in the tree, or in sky, full of my wings’ love´? For where there are birds, there is also the heart. The trick is how to have the heart be present, without caging beauty, and hence ourselves. Otherwise we might end up saying, “I can’t be happy until I have this, or go see this.” Where would desire end, but in our own end?

This week I am visiting a veterinary clinic that only sees birds and exotic animals. The clinic is nestled into a strip mall arrangement, a bit plain I suppose like much of the Ohio suburbs. But then you open the door to the clinic and the rainbow of life dazzles your eyes. The doctors and the technicians smile and look you right in the eye, and the multiple birds in residence fly across the room to perch near brightly decorated walls. One rode my shoulder for the afternoon, my face touching, oh God, actually touching feathers once again. The world seems nearly as it should be in these rooms, for isn’t everything we need right there? Then the clients come in with their companion birds – sick, caged, behaviorally down shifted from their evolved possibility. I am not saying that there isn’t love or care or heart in the humans there, but do we as a species truly “need” these rooms full of cages and medicines for the idea of interconnection to come? I am poised for there to be another way, and in my longing may I remain alert for letting desire go so that life may come.

What do you desire or need, that if in letting it go, would lead to fuller lives for you or for others?

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