Sunday, May 8, 2011

DAY 217 - the phone cord

photo courtesy Jenny Downing
but then, do i want to admit it?

drinking from a fire hose ...
i didn’t mean to
it wasn’t a choice to see the suffering and dysfunction

when i was younger
so much younger than today
i felt a lot and saw a lot
or so i thought
at times it seemed too much
turns out it was mostly that which occurred nearby
i was spared the bigger, fuller picture

so, here i am
turning 60 consciously
longing for serenity,
or at least the calm of a martial artist

in fact, in my gut, in my head, in my nerves
the world swirls around and through
flashing me with scenes of harm and brewing harm

Steve, my poly sci professor
felt the storm
and hung himself one day
with a telephone cord

he was a gentle man
very bright
very aware
he knew what we were up against

no one came to help him recycle newspapers
left to haul our trash alone
he hung himself

we were only 23
when the news arrived
on a tiny island in the Pacific
i felt like i understood

Steve was no longer available
no longer able to lend his hands and heart
to haul the trash
and plan the healing of humanity
as he had done for so many years

rather than feel weakened by the loss
i looked for a gift from Steve

and found

at 23, and still today,
turning 60 consciously,
that those sensitive to, and aware of the world in which we live
must also be sensitive to their own balance

hopelessness, like a heart attack, can be closer than we know
and the fall can be long and fast to the end of the phone cord

i also found a game plan
for my life ...

to live fully,
sensitive to
the joy of our voices in harmony
the comfort of holding one another
the harm that is all around
and the fear of facing that harm yet moving toward it
to strive to know where i am
just back from the edge
a buffer
a buffer from the phone cord
that i might contribute to our wellbeing
‘till another end

Steve’s gift brings me full circle
i am scattered
and i do want to admit it
for admission may be that buffer

wishing peace for all
including Steve

I am not at the edge
just smart enough at 59
to explore,
and report back on my findings

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