No Way to Live

comments 28
Poetry

It is possible,
strange
though it may seem,
to imagine
that right now
is a most exquisite
Love note
written with
you in mind,

to imagine that
this very moment–
with all its
shortcomings,
flaws,
minor aches
and pains,
pain killers,
and just plain killers,
the war department,
the paperwork,
and the miffed populace
in which you’re mired–
is a tactical
choreography
offered in the only language
you yet understand,
suggesting
with all due respect
that you consider
aiming the business
end of that bugle
at the nearest thunderhead,
put the sweet reed
of surrender
to your lips,
and sound the retreat.
Fall back
to the rally point
at the center of your chest
and rendezvous with
the limitlessness
of your true
nature.

Others
will join you there.
Crazy poets,
angels-in-training,
and people who
hang glide.

It is not only possible,
but recommended
that you interpret
this very moment
as the type of experience-door
out of which every good thing
might suddenly spring
like glory from a cake,
for the alternative–
wandering the desert alone
trying to man up
against your doubts
and your thirst
and your mental quackeries
and not to mention
the natural born predators
patrolling the countryside all night,
well…

…that’s just no way to live.

28 Comments

  1. Why is it that the human animal will insist on self-administering ten million nostrums of the mind before surrendering?

    If perhaps this periphrastic approach is no way to live, then by what design are we formed so dull of wit?

    Rhetorically yours, and in appreciation as ever for your work Michael.

    Hariod.

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    • Thank you, Hariod, for your appreciation and presence here. I think absolute freedom and perfect love are colleagues, and this witlessness is the aftermath of an innocent question. What if I did this on my own? Something like that… I’m not sure we knew there was such a thing as a serious question. The consequences of asking the question and experiencing the answer could not have been anticipated from the experience of unity which preceded it. An ocean doesn’t quite know how to anticipate what it will be like to be bone dry… The memory of water would be haunting… How we forgot we asked the question is the question, I suppose. I think the results were simply overwhelming temporarily… It is indeed a Mystery… 🙂

      Michael

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  2. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.
    Another one for our drumming circle which is coming up on Saturday.
    And I of course have asked Hariod’s rhetorical question myself from time to time. Why why why?
    The only answer I have found is ‘It’s a Mystery!’ Frustrating at times. And then I find myself falling into Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you as a way forward or out. I have no idea who or what I am thanking. It’s a Mystery 🙂
    As is your inspired shiver-making poetry.
    Alison
    xoxox

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    • The elusive obvious invites surrender – the last thing on my mind’s mind?

      You’re perfectly right I think Alison – it is indeed a mystery.

      Hariod. ❤

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    • I’ll just jump right in this fan club here! A true treat to read such poetry! Through the Michael lens, the desert wander seems no option, ever again, (right?) – hello, my name is m, it has been 3 weeks, 2 days, and 3 hours since my last trip to the wasteland. Welcome m! In this meeting, there isn’t a fall off the wagon or recovery medallions, but a holster with my name on it ready for the hang glide off to new terrains.

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      • Thank you, Marga. I keep looking down at this backstage pass to never-ever-again, squinting to see if I can find the directions to where to redeem it, then the wagon hits a bump and I go flying. Hello. My name is Michael. I fell off Forever for about six hours yesterday, scraped my knee pretty good, couldn’t see more than two feet in front of myself, thought I wasn’t going to make it, and now I’m back to try again. How come there’s no seat belts on this thing? And who’s driving? What do you mean we’re headed straight for the edge of the world…? The driver’s a Sufi hang glider???

        Thank you for understanding the madness.

        Michael

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          • Awesome… Thank you, M. I would be dangerous with those. Put them four levels thick across my chest on the rough days. Put some on my eyes, on my ears. Put them on old bridges. On foundation cracks. At electrical splices. Hand them out at meetings. You get the idea… 🙂

            Michael

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    • Thank you, Alison. I was peeking at the moon last night through the trees, seeing the crescent through the trees. It sometimes amazes me how fast a lunar cycle can go by, and how even when life is a blur and consciousness moves like a stream splashing down stone embankment, you can always look up, see the moon, and place your position within a greater river of movement and being. Hope the drumming circle is a nice one for you guys.

      Thank you is a good default isn’t it? Thank you sometimes starts out as a plea, passes through tears, and concludes with giggles. It’s kind of like glimpsing the moon above the laptop screen, it pulls you into something greater, where so much more is lying in wait for our attention… Shifting our apprehension of the context in which we exist is the miracle, no? I think we’re always thanking what’s in us, what we are, what’s all around us, what will never again be as it was before, but never loses sight of precisely what is…

      Michael

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  3. Such great word play Michael. Point the business end of the bugle and sound the retreat! Pull back to the rally point at center of your chest and other delights. Thanks for reminding me to look to my heart. 🙂

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    • My pleasure, Brad! Now that I’ve had a little time to reflect on the matter, I’m thinking it probably should be some kind of funky trumpet that wraps around one-eighty and opens fire on one’s own ear… Here’s the real deal… A bit more fanfare than I had envisioned… Though the drums do add a certain ceremony to the moment… 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah… It makes all the difference I am finding, to view the present as being more perfect than we initially sense, which is sometimes difficult for extended periods, but then when things click, and whatever resistance there was softens, it is really lovely. I enjoyed your story of going to the park during lunch and meeting the Soldier King. So many cool things happening, and everyone is feeling this opportunity-desire for transformation…

      Michael

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  4. Yes, it is the door out which every good thing might suddenly spring… especially when it is one you consciously walk through, stepping off the threshold into the lightening that we are!

    (literally JUST used a header picture of a door on my post before diving into my reader and finding this here -lol)

    Don’t know why it still surprises me a bit to find my mental quackeries leading to syncs so often…however, it leaves me with a lovely feeling as I feed the wolves tonight. 🙂
    -x.M

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    • One good quackery deserves another, I say. Let us pass some of those lovely feelings around, amplify them in their sharing, and observe what crosses over the threshold. A friend, a traveler, an angel… One never knows…

      Michael

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  5. Loved this poem Michael! Reminds me of one of my favorite phrases, “what if?” But I wonder why my husband always gets nervous when I start with that phrase? 🙂 Seriously though, I so appreciate your passion to live deeply and purposefully.

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    • Thank you, Colleen. I’m a big fan of the “what if?” myself. Like… what if the greatest feelings we ever had just kept expanding until they gobbled up all the in-between spaces and swallowed us whole?

      (Your husband sounds like a wise man…)

      Michael

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      • Sometimes, i think my greatest feelings DO eat me alive – the curse and the blessing of those sensitive creative types. I know you understand! 🙂 Yes, my husband is a very wise man – willing to let me dream, but reining me in at times in the best of ways.

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        • Yes, those feelings can take on monumental proportions and spin off lives of their own. It is good to have a balancing friend at your side…

          Michael

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  6. Thank you Michael. Another wonderful descent in a column of words, along with crazy poets, angels-in-training, and people who hang glide. Happily tumbling in a kind of free-fall towards this very moment, stability and everything is all right in the world…

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    • Thank you, Tiramit. I do hang glide, by the way, just not in this particular life. In the best possible scenario I am capable of imagining, it would result in just such an everything-is-alright, happy tumbling free-fall into a moment with mostly water as it’s lower bounding surface.

      When I wrote this, I was really aware of the wonderful depth of meaning and flowing presence that arose from perceiving the moment as a language inviting us to witness the manner in which Being is jam packed with an invisible, beautiful potency. Rather than finding myself in a field of strange cognitions that must be assessed and understood, it was like being on a bus full of close personal friends on ride to a sunrise at the world’s edge. You don’t even have to keep an eye on these companions to know what they are doing… you just know it’s wonderful, and so you’re free to let the encounter with the moment unfold as it will… That’s the sensation of “everything is all right in the world…” When we have that, we free up so much mental bandwidth. We go sub-mental… 🙂

      Michael

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    • Thanks, Aleya! These “mini-practices” seem to be perpetually unfolding. One realization stirs the pot and leads to the next… A week after the fact, I’m still catching myself in the act of remembering, here and there throughout the day, that this very moment contains within it the heart of hearts.

      Michael

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