Friday, January 7, 2011

Swans



They appeared
over the dunes,
they skimmed the trees
and hurried on

to the sea
or some lonely pond
or wherever it is
that swans go,

urgent, immaculate,
the heat of their eyes
staring down
and then away,

the thick spans
of their wings
as bright as snow,
their shoulder-power

echoing
inside my own body.
How could I help but adore them?
How could I help but wish

that one of them might drop
a white feather
that I should have
something in my hand

to tell me
that they were real?
Of course
this was foolish.

What we love, shapely and pure,
is not to be held,
but to be believed in.
And then they vanished, into the unreachable distance.




I once had a dream that turned into a music video with the refrain, "love ain't enough, but it ain't dead yet."  In the dream, a couple who had once loved each other passionately could not stay together.  They were so disappointed that love could die so easily.  Yet, they had a beautiful daughter together who was the embodiment of their love. When she grew up she gave her love to millions through the gift of music and song.

What I learned from this dream (or was I teaching myself?) was that love cannot be imprisoned, it must fly free which means that it can, and will, leave you.  But then if we just keep our hearts open, the love surprises us in amazing ways.

So we are to have faith that love exists and can, but not in the exact ways that love manifests.

Oh that I was so strong to have this be enough.  But like Mary, I am foolish. So at home I have a white wing feather from a Snowy Owl that I place before me as I meditate daily.  This feather helps draw me into this practice, which I might otherwise neglect.  Being of flesh and of this world, it helps to hold love now and then, and be likewise held.

Where are you foolish in love?

1 comment:

  1. I have two special pictures of my grandsons. My daughter mounted them in special frames. One about Children and their special ways of seeing the world. The picture is in a garden with each exploring. The younger one is crawling, about ten months, and examining the long grass along the edge. The three, almost four year old is deep into the garden so only his head shows. He, too, has his head down exploring the crop, probably picking a bean or pea. The other picture frame says on it,"Grandparents prepare us for the future by teaching us about the past," and holds a picture of them a bit older, like seven and three. They are on the grass, sitting with the biggest smiles and the love they send through their eyes is beyond belief. I keep these pictures on my dresser in my bedroom. I'm sure the person who cleans my house for me must wonder why I haven't updated the pictures and why they are the only ones she has to dust around. She always moves them so I have to turn them back directly facing where I sit on the edge of the bed. The oldest is now in High school and the younger is a confident middle schooler. Though there has always been great distance between us, love has spaned the miles. I know they love me and they know I love them. ...but I have to keep looking at those pictures to remind me how fortunate I am to have them as family. I know it may be foolish, but even the frames my daughter selected remind me of the special daughter and son-in-law I have, too.

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