The Late Summer Garden of Listening

Lazy Susans

The days have been cooler and crisper this week.  We have turned the corner into late summer. As we turn again and again to listen to all that we are, to be present for this moment, our broader selves begin to speak.  Not necessarily with words, although possibly, but with the felt sense of sparkle and ache in our bodies, with the stories of dreams, with the synchronous happening of dynamic causality. We begin to live into a universe that we may not understand at all, but we begin to feel more and more at home, to sense that this universe is not apart from us, but that we are possibly the outer limits and inner depths of the unfolding of itself.

For the next handful of weeks I will be posting excerpts from my someday-maybe book, Waking Up at Home. If this possibility of a book ever becomes a book it will be the story of my transformation into living in my skin, into the realization of my substantial humanness and rich interdependence with all that is. This particular selection of writing was written in the late summer of 2005 as I was waking up to my living organism, discovering the joy of swimming and ache of becoming.

Sharing this now (so I can take a break from writing new posts) will help me turn my attention this late summer 2010 to the gathering of my tribe. I grew up in a big family and by some twist of cosmic turns all my siblings have returned to our childhood community for various parts of this year and starting now everyone is here within a five mile radius for the next three weeks to prepare for and be part of the festivities of our brother’s wedding, and to be side by side again.  So  I turn to this and away from much of my writing and work; I give myself over to the tides of family.

I have ideas that I will make progress soon on this someday-maybe book, and turn it into a finished-published book, but for now I share these glimpses.  Please share your thoughts and reflections as it unfolds. And enjoy this deep, rich time of year wherever you are.

The Sorrow Bird

A tenderness walks into the room, sits in the chair, looks at me. Breeze enters through the window. I am the sorrow bird, the fledgling, new winged sorrow bird. Last night this man came to see me. I do not understand what we have and what we do not have. We hold ourselves apart. We meet, we connect, and this morning the little girl of sorrow lies in bed. I don’t know what I’m doing, what I want. I don’t know the unfolding. I don’t have a fixed notion of where it goes or what it looks like. I’m scared of being caught by it. Beholden to it? I’m scared of giving up something in an effort to get something. And I feel this sadness. I don’t know what I want, what it looks like.

There is a distance, a water between us. We are two fires on either side of a frozen lake—we see the warmth and glow across the frozen dark glass, below the night sky. We want to share our fires, bring them together—but we fear if we step out onto the ice—come together, our fires will merge, overwhelm us, we may drown. What is the difference between giving ourselves away to another, and letting go of ourselves? Sadness—I don’t—I’m not letting him in. He is not letting me in. And some part of us moves together—allows this to happen whatever we say.

This post is an excerpt from a book I’m working on. This entry was written on August 11, 2005.

Photo by Donny Osman.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tonio August 26, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Thank you again for sharing your most intimate self. Your voice is clear and precise, resonating true, within me.

I’ve been struggling with language, speaking and listening, understanding and being understood all my life. And yet, despite the struggle and effort, frustration and sense of failure, it all comes through. It just seems to take a lot longer to process it all through every part of my being. A two way filtering of being – relationship, reflection to reflection.

The more I learn of this language – speaking and listening, understanding and failing, or so thinking – the more I sense the ability to let it go and let it in and let it out, freely without hope or disappointment. It seems that language is far more than verbal or intellectual expression of thoughts, ideas, feelings, inspirations and aspirations. It seems that every part of my body and being wants in on the expression. Speaking with mouth open or not. Who am I speaking with anyway?


Jasmine August 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Good question.


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