Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Perfect Love


a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her –
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Present Moment and Traffic Court

My longing for you
keeps me
in this moment
My passion
gives me courage
-Mevlana Rumi (1207 - 1273)

Today I went to traffic court to deal with a speeding ticket I got on my way to Asheville earlier this year. As often seems to be the case, Life has artfully arranged a way for me to see how I am living out of the present moment. I was contemplating why I got the ticket and how my mom and husband are often fearful when they drive with me. That is kind of embarrassing to admit, but hey, it is all in the truth right?
So why do I drive the way I do? I was talking to one of my teachers and she asked me if I was driving like there was no one else on the road. Yes! This is such a theme for me: it is all about me, I am in a hurry, I need to get my needs met now, I need to be heard now, etc. I was struck by how this blots out the sunlight of the Spirit.
There is so much good in this life. One of the ways I survived the craziness of my family when I was growing up was to try to control everything. If Life would just do what It was supposed to then I would be happy. If I could distract myself enough, stay busy enough, I wouldn't have to feel some unpleasant and scary feelings.
Now this system is outdated. I find that I feel distressed, disconnected and antsy when I am rushing around. I want to drink Life in.

"We whack away at the gorgeousness of reality with too many distractions."-Theo Gund

Here are some ways that I am working with staying in the experience of each moment:
-smelling the air outside
-breathing with conscious awareness and, when I notice I am stressed or thinking I need to hurry, remembering that this is just an old habitual pattern and I can slow down and breath. Everything will be fine.
-drive with great attention and patience
-remember gratitude. there is so much sweetness in my life. I want to remember this and utter a whisper of thanks again and again throughout my day.