Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet Fragrant Fire

Look how the dark cloud has poured life to all the thirsty,
How a vast cup pours wine for those whose heart is light!
Heaven has spread its pearls over the plains of Misery.
This cloud is like Jacob, this flower like Joseph in the field.
It is our tears of longing that make Joseph's face so radiant
One of these teardrops will become pearl, another narcissus;
The hands of those who take ours will fill warm with gold.
Yesterday, the garden was flooded with fresh splendor
Because the Lovers were abandoned and drunk all day.
Close your lips like a shell, you drunkard! Don't move!
Let all the souls awoken to the Invisible
Cluster round you in sweet fragrant fire!

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

The hands of those who take ours will fill warm with gold.

Friday, November 26, 2010

in this heart.

I'd sing it for you, if my voice didn't crack so completely on the third verse. 72 weeks ago, we were curled up on the couch, happy, blissfully unaware it was our last night there together, singing ridiculously silly Neil Diamond songs. There is a set list I found, that Sunday, a list of songs you'd written down that morning, songs to play on your guitar, for us to sing together. It is hard to do back-up when no one else can hear your voice but me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Slowly now the evening changes his garments
held for him by a rim of ancient trees;
you gaze: and the landscape divides and leaves you,
one sinking and one rising toward the sky.
And you are left, to none belonging wholly,
not so dark as a silent house, nor quite
so surely pledged unto eternity
as that which grows to star and climbs the night.
To you is left (unspeakably confused)
your life, gigantic, ripening, full of fears,
so that it, now hemmed in, now grasping all,
is changed in you by turns to stone and stars.

Rainer Maria Rilke.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Intellect Vs Love

Lovers know there are roses
in the bloody veil of love;
they live astounded
by Love's matchless beauty.
The intellect says,
"The six directions are blocked!"
Love says, "There's a way!"
Intellect sees a market
and starts to haggle;
Loves sees thousands of markets
beyond that market.
How many mystic martyrs
hidden in Love's soul
have abandoned the preacher's chair
to climb onto the scaffold!
Lovers who drink the wine's dregs
reel from bliss to bliss;
dark-hearted skeptics
burn inwardly with denial.
Intellect says, "Stay where you are!
Annihilation has only thorns!"
Love laughs, "The thorns are in you!"
Keep silent, and tear Being's thorn
out of your heart;
discover in your own soul
rose garden after rose garden.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Thursday, November 18, 2010


(this happened last winter, right around our anniversary, but I need some reminders of goodness and mysteries.)

boris lost his dog tags, just a day after I looked at them, with both matt's and my phone numbers on them, thinking "I hope I never have to replace them, get new tags without your phone number on them." I retraced our steps for hours; didn't find them. It took me 9 days to get new tags, just my number on them now. boris and I went to the beach, I needed to let him swim. I was standing at the edge of the surf, missing our life so much. I looked down. Just barely sticking out of the sand was the corner of a green metal tag: boris. Matt's phone number, and mine. Ten days after it disappeared, it is found mostly buried in the sand, exactly where I am standing. Ten days of high tides and low tides, and it was right there, with me.

Last fall, Matt was out of town, and I had both boris and jake to tend and check on. I'd come home from work, taken bo to the beach, and needed to get back to do something with jake, can't remember now what, but I was in a rush. bo and I were ready to leave the beach when I realized I had lost my car keys. The spare key was at home on Matt's bookshelf. Crap. I would have to walk all the way across town with boris, leave him home, then walk all the way back to the beach with the spare key, then still manage to do whatever else I had to do. I searched the beach awhile, had some people help me look, and was just about to give up, close to tears. I closed my eyes and said "I could use some help, please." I opened my eyes. I am not exaggerating at all: a beam of light came out from the clouds and landed on my car keys, half buried in the sand, at the edge of the water.

I called Matt and said "the COOLEST thing just happened!" I attributed it to prayer and a need for help spoken truly, without an actual expectation of help arriving. Or something. We just both thought it was amazing.

I was not looking for bo's tags. I was looking for us. Pretty much the same spot my keys were found, his tags materialized. I stood there sobbing and laughing, gripping those tags. My love. You are totally cool.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

when you are lost in the forest

Stand still - the trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is called "here"...
the forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.

 - David Wagonner

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

hand games

Hand Games
Marge Piercy

Intent gets blocked by noise.
How often what we spoke
in the bathtub, weeping
water to water, what we framed
lying flat in bed to the spiked
night is not the letter that arrives,
the letter we thought we sent. We drive
toward each other on expressways
without exits. The telephone
turns our voices into codes,
then decodes the words falsely,
terms of an equation
that never balances, a scale
forever awry with its foot
stuck up lamely like a scream.

Drinking red wine from a sieve,
trying to catch love in words,
its strong brown river in flood
pours through our weak bones.
A kitten will chase the beam of a flash
light over the floor. We learn
some precious and powerful forces
can not be touched, and what
we touch plump and sweet
as a peach from a tree, a tomato
from the vine, sheds the name
as if we tried to write in pencil
on its warm and fragrant skin.

Mostly the television is on
and the washer is running and the kettle
shrieks it's boiling while the telephone
rings. Mostly we are worrying about
the fuel bill and how to pay the taxes
and whether the diet is working
when the moment of vulnerability
lights on the nose like a blue moth
and flitters away through clouds of mosquitoes
and the humid night. In the leaking
sieve of our bodies we carry
the blood of our love.

Monday, November 15, 2010

swings and nightmares (and pigs)

Today has been kicking my butt. Not like it hasn't been kicked every second of every day for 70 weeks and a few hours, but I thought I could get some things done today, and I was wrong. I slept on the couch until 3 am, which I haven't done since I passed the year mark. I had a bunch of nightmares, including one in which I tried to calm myself down by reminding myself I could wake up at any time and snuggle in to his back, feel him pull my arms more tightly around him, and tell him all about the dream when we woke up. Still asleep, still inside the dream, I also remembered - no. No you can't. Instead of that realization making it worse, my dream self shrugged and turned over. The rest of the morning had more and more dreams; in each one, I told him how I dreamed I was having a nightmare and that I dreamed I couldn't tell him about it.

I was fairly alright this morning, planning on actually doing some of the many things on the to-do list that will actually benefit me in the near-ish future - things like heating assistance, and work on my website - but then grief just crashed into me, and I haven't moved from my seat most of the day. I was checking out some of my old bookmarks from the other computer, and found ferree's post of awhile ago. Her image: swinging happily, then being violently punched off her swing, while her best friend was lovingly lifted off his swing. He got to go off on his new adventure, while she was left broken and bleeding in the dirt. Yeah. Exactly. I've got that.

I think I've been having a serious backlash from last weekend's farmer to farmer conference. I won't say I had fun, but it was nice to be around people who, as one farmer said, "don't care much about being social but are really good at what they do." I learned about land aquisition and discovered a small, previously unknown interest in raising pigs. I also felt very aware of my presence as the 13th guest, the uninvited presence of death amidst all the happy people planning their lives. They were there to have fun. I represent a lot of peoples' nightmares, things they would rather not think about, especially while they are Having Fun. I didn't want to get into discussions with people only to have to answer "my love died unexpectedly, so I am farm planning on my own." I didn't want to bring - I don't know - death, I guess, to the table so manifestly, for me or for them. I managed to talk farm things with a few people, and only once started crying during a conversation. I excused myself, then felt awkward and embarrassed for the rest of the afternoon. But, I did it. And I learned things. And I missed him intensely, how he would most likely say "I'm happy to support your interest in raising pigs, and I'll eat them, but it's not something I'm interested in for myself." I missed being teased in that way he has, that way that made me laugh in a way no one else can, or could. I missed having someone to plan a future with, even if we never actually settled on any one thing.

And since I've been back, I've been sick with a cold, dizzy, tired, overwhelmed by the effort to live here at all, let alone make decisions about what I'm supposed to do with this life while I'm here, write web content, explore land trusts, formulate business plans, track down contacts, bake birthday cake, everything and anything that lands on top of the mess that I am, bleeding in the dirt having been so violently punched off my swing.

To throw in more analogies, I know I need an anchor. I had anchors, before. Good ones. Sturdy, useful, awesome ones. All those anchors, along with everything else, have moved to the moon, where they have no more weight than anything else.