“There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.” Adrienne Rich
OFF MAP -FOLLOW THE TERRAIN
“Sit down and weep”, not something I have considered during this period of containment. I own but have not read a book titled “By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept”. I like the title so well I am not sure I will ever read what is inside. Weeping appears to be a more enlightened form of crying. Do we weep for humanity and cry for ourselves?
I want to learn how to ‘weep’ and then search out ‘those among’ us who could acknowledge my strength as a warrior. My hope is they are waiting somewhere ‘off map’, beyond the beyond.
This poem by Joyce Rupp, OLD MAPS NO LONGER WORK speaks to that part that yearns to go ‘off map’ and discover new terrain… perhaps that decision has already been made for us.
A Lion in the Moonlight
like the lion in the moonlight,
not in expectation but
longing for the gifts that hover
just beyond our grasp
hoping for an invitation,
the magic hour begins
the veil is briefly lifted.
Darkness defines the Light,
dew the momentary threshold
releases our trembling fragility
“the shimmering of the web”
this alchemy of dawn,
dimensions where words wait
the moment being witnessed.
Remove the shoes of the past
the door was always open
photo credit play it again. westcoastwoman 2019
these days when words fail us and so many need to be heard, I offer these “two words” in a quote from Richard Wagamese……..
“Sometimes people just need to talk. They need to be heard. They need the validation of my time, my silence, my unspoken compassion. They don’t need advice, sympathy or counselling. They need to hear the sound of their own voices speaking their own truths, articulating their own feelings, as those may be at a particular moment.
Then, when finished, they simply need a nod of the head, a pat on the shoulder or a hug.
I am learning that sometimes silence really is golden, and that sometimes “Fuck, eh?” is as spiritual a thing as needs to be said.
Richard Wagamese. Embers One Ojibway’s Meditations (2013)
photo westcoastwoman 2020
“I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere
because where I am folded,
there I am a lie.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“I want to unfold”
I have retreated to my garden. ‘Social distancing’ in a garden introduces a whole new social order, a separate society carrying on totally oblivious to the chaos and trauma being lived out by the human population.
This shy fellow and I have been playing hide and seek for the last few days. I would disturb his sunbathing and he would retreat into the log he calls home. Today I caught him sleeping and ‘folded.’
I feel my folded parts unfolding day by day. This moment in time has given us all much to consider. How we treat and care for our fellow human beings and the more-than-human-beings will determine how our shared future unfolds.
“because where I am folded, there I am a lie.”
Holland House Library London September 1940 morning after an Air Raid
“Order in the midst of Disorder, Outside but also Inside”
This photograph, taken the day after an Air Raid on London in the Fall of 1940 has lived as an icon on my desktop for a few years.
I click on it intermittently to remind myself how resilient we are as human beings. Story-telling animals who in the midst of chaos and uncertainty keep moving forward. Reading, writing and telling our story as part of our survival.
Split screen, calm and chaos, our story being written day by day.
photos westcoastwoman 2020
“Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer not the cloak“. Rumi
Eyes that can navigate
the tears of others
back to their headwaters,
spoke to mine.
Her hands cupped, filter
words, pain, bewilderment,
spilling from mouths
unable to contain the flow.
“You need to settle“
Those hands deliver
to the waiting current,
grief, loss, prayers,
“Settle. You need to settle”
Palms open, eyes open,
reach upwards, release,
lower with grace, reverence,
touch and comfort the earth.
photo westcoastwoman 2020