We all coexist with the idea that the people we love might disappear at any moment, though this idea, in the every day life, only occupies the fringes of our minds. But when someone you love has cancer, the idea becomes central, and it moves to occupy the entire space. Managing your emotions while going through this is one of the hardest things a human being has to do.
The years move on, and the things which seemed so important become trivial; time and loss have a way of distilling life to its essence. The years move on, what remains now are the simple things that were there all along, waiting in the quiet. The years move on, and we start making friends with our own disappearance; how well can we dance the dance before saying goodbye?
Things, in the end, will not be alright, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be so. Life will falter, sickness will creep in, relationships you value will be torn, friends and lovers will one day be strange as ghosts, everything will change, nothing you love will remain the same, and, in the end, sooner or later, you yourself will disappear without ever having felt like you have had enough, or that you have fulfilled all your dreams, or resolved the puzzle of life. If you can truly face this fact, deeply, without closing your heart, you will attain internal peace, and will be able to dance in the rain for a little while. You will give all you can give, and you will know the gratitude of love.
My first thought
as I woke up today,
as the autumn sun gently
sneaked in through the window
caressing my bed,
was to halt the flow of time
and stay encased
in this moment forever;
it was a desire to stay here,
embraced by the arms
of an imaginary woman,
and no longer have to face,
day in, day out,
the vicissitudes of a life
I can no longer bear.
When sadness comes sit with her, invite her over to a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe just a little wine, resist your urge to escape from her by drowning her in some frantic activity, and rather hold her gently like you would your beloved wife, drown in her eyes all your sorrows, fears and anxieties, tell her what she already knows, your insomnias and terrors before a life devoid of affection, meaning or completion.
When sadness comes
sit with her, though she thumps
against your chest
like a wild horse being tamed,
gather up your strength and tell her
all that the harsh tides of life
have washed up inside your heart,
or just sit with her, in silence,
reading a book or listening
to a bird singing happy and unaware.
When sadness comes smile back to her, sadly, and offer her the dark rose of that void pulsing in your chest, and watch her take it, gladly, placing it delicately in her wildly waving hair.
When sadness comes welcome her, that lifelong friend loyal to a fold and intimate and tender, and know that all she asks of you is for you to tame her so that one day she may begin to tell you all the reasons for which she is your promise of love.
Not to shrink away from fear, not to rationalize it, hide it, or pretend it isn’t there. To use fear as a way of knowing your weaknesses and strengths, keeping you rooted in reality, as a way to highlight the areas of your life that are asking to grow, to keep you moving on the edge of your life, the edge that is asking you to use up your insight, strength, and imaginative powers, the edge that is sharpening you, allowing you to become the best version of yourself, the person you were meant to be. This is the purpose of fear, and that is the way it should be used by a philosophy that embraces life.
Woman, by virtue of being woman, casts a light upon the world — and we poets, aware and ravished by the sacredness of her ray, find our hearts burning and our words rising like smoke from within the burning. And what do all poets hope for?—well, their life at its deepest root aches to get to the source of her light, to travel her white stream upward and back into the source, the core. This, poets with a fine intuition know can only be achieved through and with a single woman. Women are many but woman, in a sense, is one. The woman the poet loves, writes his heart to, and in whose light he lives is one and provides him with the highest possible unification of life. Through her he asserts himself and reaches his peak and harmonizes his strength; through her he becomes more than a poet, he becomes a man, and, dare I say, achieves his freedom and independence of women. He finds his calling in the arms of the greatest woman of all — life. What woman entices him from now on?—the woman whose light is so ravishing that, in her presence, he feels that the physical world cannot contain him anymore. You, my love, are such a woman.
when a person dies;
yet true obituaries
are written long after
in the hearts and minds
of those whose life
was intimately shared,
and they are not called
they are known
by a hundred other names,
by a hundred other facts,
they are the shared moments
and their intimate depths
growing in the seedbed of life,
they are a hand still moving with ours,
and a heart beating in our own,
loving as we love,
crying as we cry,
they are the imagined togetherness
still breathing in and breathing out
as we carry upon our shoulders
the weight and the promise
and pledge in our daily bread
the laughter and the tears
of all that brought us together
and the death that made us part,
continuing our journey,
witnessing with our eyes and theirs
right into our own demise.