Thursday, December 30, 2010



In the green and purple weeds called Zostera, loosely swinging in the shallows,

I waded, I reached my hands in that most human of gestures-to find,

to see, to hold whatever it is that's there-and what came up

wasn't much but it glittered and struggled, and it had eyes, and a body

like a wand, it had pouting lips.  No longer, all of it,

than any of my fingers, it wanted away from my strangeness, it wanted

to go back into that waving forest so quick and wet. I forget

when this happened, how many years ago I opened my hands-like a promise

i would keep my whole life, and have-and let it go.  I tell you this

in case you have yet to wade into the green and purple shallows where the diminutive

pipefish wants to go on living. I tell you this against everything you are-

your human heart, your hands passing over the world, gathering and closing, so dry and slow.

We soon approach the time of promises - the New Year's time of resolutions and the hope of will.  How do we make commitments against who we evolved to be?  For our hands were made to close so we could  gather in all that we can  - mates for children, kin for protection, foraged plants and hunted beings for food, and rocks and metals for weapons.  Our hands were also made to open so that they could fill again. Likewise our hearts were made to break open so that they could fill again and again.  How do we tip the scales so that our hands work more towards life, than for death? 

My answer:  letting go.

My promise:  letting go

What is your promise that you would keep your whole life?

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