My Recovering Peperomia

comments 23

I read an article the other day
about some people
who did what all the books
said to do
and they were explaining
in very simple terms
how now their every movement
opens up before them
like a strawberry shortcake snack
at the Center for Incredibleness
and their every breath
brings with it some beneficent manifestation
like a phone call from some Swiss lawyer
representing a great uncle
they never knew they had
who made some fine investments in railroad steel
a century or two ago, then was lost tragically
in a hot air balloon disaster along with
most of his immediate relatives,
which meant it fell upon the
shiny happy ones from the article
to inherit
and manage
a hefty assortment of waiting monies.

Hafiz was staring with equanimity
at my wilting peperomia plant,
which I leveraged as an opportunity
to add neglectful to the growing list
of obvious flaws I would
one day need to surmount
in order to manifest
unsolicited telephone calls
from foreign barristers.

Your great uncle died, too, you know.”

Yes, I know that.
Did he not think I knew that?

Then, while Hafiz watered my peperomia plant
in a very beautiful way,
a way I could probably never manage
in this lifetime,
a way that made my eyes water
and my chest swell up
with all the grieving I had never completed
for that great uncle I never met,
I looked at my own list of life circumstances.

I could see no strawberry shortcake snacks
laid out in a buffet line before me.
I could see, instead,
a phone call that needed to be made
to a disappointed client,
a sketch of an apple I had tried to make
that looked instead like a crepe
left out in the sun too long,
and a fresh sriracha stain on my favorite shirt.
I felt as if the past several decades
of sitting quietly beside lit candles
early in the morning or late at night
and listening to the hidden meanings
of my own breath had been a futile postponement
of the obvious conclusion: I was broken.

Hafiz came over and sat beside me.
He lit a candle and together we breathed
some air in and out for a little while,
resting in one another
back and forth
like ancient waves finally finding their shore
until there was only the sensation
of spaciousness and the sound of
two bodies breathing.

Then I retired for the evening.

I dreamed about a sea of faces
stretching in all directions
like pebbles strewn across the beach of history,
and of all of the countless teeth they had grown–
a ga-jillion perfect bones–!
every one of them incomprehensibly
arising in its rightful place.

The next morning my peperomia
was spread full and alert,
and I realized I was a holy tooth
nestled quietly
in the song-filled mouth
of Love.

We were all in there together,
lined up and gleaming,
and the whole world
around us was busily


  1. This is beautiful Michael. Your words describe my personal struggle today quite thoroughly. Thank you, and bless you for being you. Sending love and blessings your way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lydia… Bless you, too. I figured I wasn’t the only to ever traverse these sorts of feelings. They’re like trees randomly fallen into the road that leads to complete acceptance of ourselves. I hope whatever doubts or uncertainties arose to temporarily cloud your vision have dissolved by now… Thank you very much for reading and responding here…


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the good reminders Michael. It’s easy to get lost in comparison and desire when those luscious few make the perfect life sound like it’s one visualization, affirmation or formula away! 🙂
    Lately, I’ve been losing interest in improving myself, learning to love and accept myself instead.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Brad,

      That sounds good, my friend. Losing that instinctive desire to compare and understand can be a little scary on the one hand– like abandoning one’s compass while trekking through a wilderness– but it is entirely necessary should we wish to taste the freedom that is ours. I’m learning to accept myself completely as well, and there are these momentary stumbles into patterns from the past that once were helpful, but now are not perhaps. A Course of Love calls this unlearning… Unlearning what we taught ourselves was necessary…


      Liked by 2 people

  3. Michael, your words always carry me on an emotional journey and for that I am so grateful. I crave love most in this world, yet I know I hold it at bay at the gate of my heart. Even though many events in my life have taught me that time is a thief of our most precious possessions, I still hesitate to let the light and love in … truly in. You, my dear friend, teach me so much. Much love and peace to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Dana,

      I liked what you said about an emotional journey, because I wasn’t really able to write this one until I had made the full journey myself. This was sort of an emotional diary of the past several days in the shape of a poem… We all crave Love, and the funny thing is we all have it. It is indeed a matter of allowing it in, and opening the gates of our hearts. I find, as I did this week, that I cannot control the times or places when lingering bits of resistance finally surface to be released, opening the gate that little bit wider. True companions help the journey… 🙂

      Blessings and courage!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Michael, you do have a knack for launching a journey – always a pleasant one. After I read this I arrived at the destination that tomorrow is another day. It’s up to me whether I turn that into a Carol Burnett skit or not – I think I might settle on a hybrid of that and your peperomia plant. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 5 people

    • Harlon, yes I do kind of fire-for-effect sometimes with my opening salvo(s). It is just the way of it I suppose. Setting the tone, you know… I love the idea of mixing in the Carol Burnett skit. No life is complete without a little laughter at the leading edge of our contact with the depths of our own being… It’s not meant to be serious all the time, for sure. Thank you for reminding me, Harlon!


      Liked by 2 people

  5. The conclusion is that everything is perfect just as it is. Everything is love just as it is. Everything is gleaming teeth and peperomia!
    Love and blesings

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, Alison, everything is perfect just as it is. I think this type of acceptance also frees the perfection to continue its work of freshly arising in, around, and through us… What I felt in accepting some of my inner turbulence this week was that the conditions of my life were perfect for precisely the moment I am in them, but this is just an instant and each moment of acceptance moves me further into my heart, which gives rise to new experiences… So, it truly is a dialogue… It was the acceptance of the solid ground of unity, which allows all circumstances to soften and release, making room for a new batch of mystery to arrive, that broke the ice of uncertainty…

      Blessings to you and Don–

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I just noticed your subtitle “Explorations in Authenticity…” and give it a resounding “yes” after reading this poem. Peace, friend. ~Dennis

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dennis! Yes, the genesis of that is the idea of exploring truthfully what arises within, and not attempting to conform to concepts or ideals of what it means to be me. It is the only “real” mode of experiencing I can imagine desiring. I find I can flicker in and out still, of the sensation of true freedom, but that being authentic about both sides of the flickering seems to heal the gaps that remain. It is good to have such inspiring friends along this road home…!



  7. I love how you always come to the conclusion that love is everywhere and that you are perfect as you are.
    When I read your posts about difficult circumstances, I always wonder what phase you are going through. In ACOL, there is something said about ‘trial by fire’. I think it was in the chapter about acceptance.
    I also recall from one of Bernadette Roberts’ books where she wrote about the unitive state and the challenges she encountered. Like being robbed several times, car breakdowns, being fired from work. All events were to her as if they were meant to test her inner peace.

    It is beautiful how you manage to see the love in all this.


    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Karin,

      Your thoughts here are interesting to me, because part of the onset of my difficulty was that old feeling, or question, about what phase I was in… I find there is confidence when I don’t look down these days… I don’t know if that makes any sense. I think A Course of Love is inspiring us to accept, first and foremost, our natural state of Love, and to rely on it rather than the evidence that still arises periodically from “old” patterns of thought associated with a recovery from separation. Once we chose separation, learning became necessary, but there is this sound barrier to cross as we stabilize our experience of unity, which is that we must let the “patterns” of learning behind. They served us once in the sense that they compelled us to seek unity, to seek beyond the ego’s visions of the boundaries, and at some point they must be left behind. So, I have no idea what phase I’m in. I’m simply balanced on the wire this morning, walking in a feeling of warmth, surrounded by the sky… not intending to look down today… 🙂

      Much Love, Karin!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Michael,

    Every time I see a new bloom on one of my recovering plants, I feel triumphant; and it’s not even personal. There’s a new little white bud on my rose bush right now, “eye’s closed” and facing up the light. It’s amazing how biology breathes through anything it can gets its hands on. The way your spirit breathes through this poem, inflates us all…

    Peace & Friendship,

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Ka,

      Thank you very much. It really isn’t a personal feeling when the plants recover, is it– it’s just a taste of beauty and purity to savor and unite with. I love your description of the rose bud, with it’s eyes closed yet facing to the light. I resonate with this description completely. It is an image I will carry with me today… Thank you for the kind words and for the inspiring work you’ve been doing on your own site…

      The Joy of Friendship Returned!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your word images are phantasmagorical. And always love rules.
    Did you know that the Russians have done plant experiments attaching electrodes to plants and that they respond to, and differentiate among, different people entering a room. They had, I don’t know, 9 people enter a room and one acted as a torturer and ripped a plant apart. Then they left the room and entered
    by one. And when the “torturer” entered, all the electrodes on the plants went wild. Just thinking of your peperomia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Ellen. I have heard about similar experiments. I don’t remember the author, and never read the book myself, but remember reading about a book called The Secret Life of Plants. I think I may have once read several chapters, anyway. It is amazing the sensitivity and responsiveness of all life, for sure. When Hafiz enters my heart, my electrodes go wild, I will say that! Ha!

      Much Love


  10. Wonderful imagery Michael, and a poignant allegory on self-worth and the need to show compassion towards ourselves. It is never beyond us to reveal that we are indeed shining denticles of love, though occasionally a little flossing is necessary, I find, to remove the plaque of separation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Hariod!

      Yes, a bit of daily maintenance is the key whilst the plaque-forming bacteria remain active. Compassion towards ourselves I find utterly necessary at times. I feel I am steadily replacing the need for particular forms of accomplishment with self-acceptance, which takes the worth issue off the table. It is a process that is unfolding in time for me. Writing as I have here helps me sometimes to see the forest from the trees…


      Liked by 1 person

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