I’ve had a lot of time to observe you lately, from a quiet interior space of one who still remembers the days of being on the inside of your spinning whirly-gig, your Merry Go Round, your Double Dutch, my smile as wide as the sky as I tossed my head back, unabashedly in love with you. I remember. You make me smile, when you don’t notice me watching, and you are pulsating in your aliveness, so vibrant, so much anticipation, so much yes, you are forever wild and beautiful and remarkably innocent. I am now mostly separate from you, and yet I know you well, remember you fondly, and at times find myself longing for belonging again to you.
I have learned that there is more to you than meets the eye; that you encompass multitudes, that you have a shadow, that you keep moving forward & marching onward no matter what atrocities infuse your sorrow. That you bend and heave but do not buckle, do not break. That you are fiercely graceful and sometimes ferocious. Unflinching, unwavering, you defy logic and resist labels and only an astute mathematician could find in you a pattern, or call them cycles. You can be unrelenting in your highs as well as your lows. You show up unannounced and thrive despite harsh conditions– truly, nevertheless, you persist.
You believe unequivocally in redemption, in do overs, hope springs eternal as long as you are present, though fair is not a word or concept in your native tongue. I don’t pretend to speak or understand this language, I can only marvel at the wonder of it all, of you, your contradictions and elegance, your seemingly indiscriminate havoc or fluidity or recoil or fury–your ceaseless senselessness and your perfection. You are hell and magic, beast and butterfly, flow and recede…
You are deeply spiritual even though you wouldn’t call it that; you simply embody that there is no distinction, no separation, no veil. You are timeless and attuned and present and unfractured by any dimensionality or need for proof or clarity or categorical explanation. I vacillate between keen observance, curiosity, and prostrate reverence for you– for all your phases and growing pains and limitations and boundless freedoms, for all your mysteries and damnations, for your willingness & reticence. I accept your terms; your wild tempestuous bucking bronco ways, your moonlit pre-dawn owl song, your bathroom floor despair, your ping pong championship legendary record holding volley between broken and beautiful…
I choose you, again and again and again, even when my mind wanders, veers toward your antagonist, when my pain makes you the enemy, calls you fugitive, forgets your holiness. Even then, it is you, everytime, that I choose. It is you.
(I return to this over & over again, as needed)
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
–‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver