Whatever This Is…

comments 25
Christ / Poetry

For a time
it was vitally important
that I witness the sunset,
that I look up from whatever
act of commerce or gastronomy
had caught my attention that day
and look west,
to pause and listen to far away places
that seemed, for just a moment,
to pour through the offices of my heart
in fleeting snippets of a cosmic dialect.
That was the moment,
the precise time to say it:
whatever this is…

I accept.

When the sun rippled at its edges
and buildings shimmered like fragile huts,
that was the time to muster
every nascent crumb of presence
and form it into a bead of meaning,
to offer my whole attention to the sky
and the sensation of all things vanishing together
while the grasshopper clung to the side of the lamppost,
to sketch out my response to the whole of given existence
with feelings opened wide like a box of dulled crayolas:
whatever this is…

I am.

That was the time
to envision the Earth’s magnetics
and ponder the creeping fury of glaciers,
to hear the minds of birds
embedded in the day’s softening,
to stride swiftly down the lane
to find a spot between boulders
so I could catch the very last instant of aerial fire,
to stroll through a forest of pine,
slowly sinking into the gathering stillness
of a long stretch of wooden sentinels,
so that when the finger of molten light
finally slid across the needled floor and climbed up my chest,
I was ready for the instant when all of us are dissolved in solution,
gathered close, remembering together:
whatever this is…

is dancing.

The difference between then and now,
having looked into the eyes of Hafiz
shimmering upon the surface of a moonlit lake,
is the depth of my honesty with you:
one moment a day is no longer enough.
The volatility of my need has ignited into a steady flame.
Warmth lingers upon my sight, and my vision
has become a penetrant that cracks open every motion.
After a period of watching sunsets,
and listening,
we become the opening we seek,
the choreography,
the encounter,
the gentle breeze that remembers,
even when we’re trapped in groaning elevators:
whatever this is…

I know you.

25 Comments

    • Awesome. You have picked up the feeling then, Brad, the sense of sunset being the time when you can peek through the doorway and catch a glimpse of timelessness. I think that is a universal experience.

      The deer know what we mean, anyway.

      And the whales of our subconsciousness… 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ‘Whatever this is. . . I know you’

    ‘. . . there the dance is,
    But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
    Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
    Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
    There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.’

    H. ➡ T.S.E. ➡ M. ➡ ❤

    Like

      • Meredith, the creative dance is to be performed entirely by people such as yourself and Michael; perhaps we might also add Mr. Eliot and a few others. . . though certainly not myself sadly; I am rather more dryly prosaic!

        Hariod. ❤

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        • ~meredith says

          Dearest Hariod… dryly prosaic or not, every dance comes of awareness. Were you not the creative soul (tender and kind) the dance would not be apparent.

          Most lovingly, Meredith ❤

          Like

          • Hariod,

            I must say that Meredith has a point here. I’ve no choice, in fact, but to ratify it. There is a creative beauty even to the simple act of relating, of extending and receiving grace, of which you are a sublime practitioner.

            In Appreciation
            Michael

            Like

  2. It is an incredible gift to witness your awareness unfold, it is almost as if I can see your shedding of skins that no longer serve, unfolding, unleashing …whatever this is…!
    Your BEing is palpable!! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Amanda. This skin-shedding is often only realized, I find, in looking back. I did used to walk out into the trees in the evening to absorb the tones of the sun, and would feel a little koyaanisqatsi if I didn’t make it. But Life moves in all sorts of directions and it isn’t easy to make that a habit right now. Then I realize… this feeling is with us, or can be, wherever we go… 🙂

      Michael

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    • Thank you, my friend. I’m glad it resonated… There seems to be something about that time of day that heightens awareness, makes observation natural and profound, filled with presence.

      Michael

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  3. ~meredith says

    well, michael! aren’t you thrilled? isn’t it like you can hardly stand yourself, it’s so good, so intense, so gratifying, and radiating… but where is the marganess? the marenness? the openness of your mother’s vibration. my gooooood-ness, michael. things will never be the same. we can’t go back. and so? xx. ~m

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    • Ha! Yes, Meredith, things change do they not? Moments and configurations whirl, but something within them remains the same… All of our friends and connections are around, I feel… Palpable but silent… Here, but hidden… The rhythm of the dance shifts… Drifts… Returns… What is there to do but express the beauty and love we are discovering inside ourselves, even now?

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Michael for this: ‘we become the opening we seek’. It explains how the transformation takes place – something we’re so caught up with at the time, it’s not possible to see how it happened…

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    • Yes, Tiramit, it is strange how our transformation sneaks up on us. We discover it only after it has occurred. Perhaps prior to the expansion of our consciousness-awareness, we couldn’t have perceived it anyway. Maybe it was there all along… I wonder… if we really transform at all, or simply are becoming aware of more of who we are. This creates the illusion of a changing ‘self’. Like reading the pages of a novel. It’s all there to begin with, but the reader learns piece by piece as the journey from cover to cover unfolds…

      Michael

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  5. We need to take our time to observe, listen and learn.
    Thank you for sharing ‘the depth of your honesty’. Delightful!
    Regards,
    Camelia
    laplacesanstemps.org

    Like

    • Thank you, Camelia. There is an incredible power and insight that can be derived from the simplest acts of observation, when they arise from the gift of our complete attentiveness. I would be lost without such moments… when we truly see and overflow the banks of our limited selves…

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh yes – you have the words to capture this this this. I am thinking of a few weeks ago when I got to go to FL with S and we went to a little island town where everyone gathers for the sunset – the streets were flooded with everyone walking to the beach to watch together – and when the last tiny curving light descended, they all broke out into applause. You are clapping all day long 🙂 You are perpetual sunsets and sunrises – I think instantly of those trigger moments in elevators, in the corner behind the mountains of freshman luggage, sunset, or waiting in the car in 95 degree heat for a girl who said she would be right there, sunrise bliss. Who am I without the toe tapping impatience? An open space, moving about, ready to applaud.

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    • I’m reading the lines and sensing a moving out – moving in day. Must be heady times for the mother and daughter… I wish I could say I was perpetually aware of our perpetual sun presence thing, but I reserve the right to require a reminder from time to time. Thankfully, we’re taking our places one by one in one another’s cathedral of stars and it’s getting difficult to forget or ignore these inescapable realities for any real length of time any more… The image of waiting, tapping, being everywhere… Sensing presence when it’s too hot to think… This is the front line of eternity…

      Michael

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  7. Thank you Michael for capturing in images the feelings I have had throughout my life as one who lived in places where sunsets were more accessible than sunrises. Now in Morocco, this pattern in reversed; indeed the sunrise brings forth an entirely different set of feelings, questions, awarenesses.
    But those that accompany a sunset are inscribed forever in my heart. Your beautiful words brought them to life again, as a photo taken by a gifted photographer brings to life the memory of a special time or person or place. Blessings to you and Hafiz, alia

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    • Thank you, Alia. I am glad you were able to connect with the words and recall the depth of your past experiences. You are right: dawn brings out another ensemble of felt parameters, though it does also draw me into it’s silent secrets. There is something different about the sky recharging with light, as if the dreams and unpredictable madness of darkness has passed, and we can get back to normalcy. The day winds up, the vacancy is filled with the mundane. Thirty minutes after dawn, we have dismissed the night’s abyss altogether. Until the next sunset, when the light begins to fade, and we remember… we come from the silence that permeates the darkness… There is nothing normal about us… 🙂

      Michael

      Like

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