The Waiting Room

comments 48
Poetry

For a while now
I’ve been tip-toeing
gingerly
around this
little tear in the fabric
of my whole world
and everything
I’ve ever known
or questioned
or waved to from afar
or shouted at
or outsmarted
or dreamed of lassoing
with real jute rope
or fallen in love with
or skipped rocks across
or retreated from
or tripped over.

Every time
I ask Hafiz
about cashing in
what’s left of my heart
for whatever it’ll buy me
and devoting
the rest of my foolishness
and failure
to forensic science,
he just nods
and points at this
little tear in the fabric
of my whole life
and everything
it might have been
or still might be
or was just starting to become
before I took a left
on Boylston
instead of continuing straight
and wound up
in this room
of star maps
and elk antlers,
dead auto engines
and stacks of manila
patent filings, and
friends with tears
in their eyes,
gods with tears
in their eyes,
children with tears
in their eyes,
deer with tears
in their eyes,
fathers with tears
in their eyes,
saints with tears
in their eyes,
mothers with tears
in their eyes
and me, with tears
in my eyes–
all of us gathered
around a little tear
straight through the fabric
of the world,
sitting back on
lacquered wooden chairs,
uncertain of what to say,
staring up at the antlers
and sighing sometimes
and wondering what
it all could possibly mean.

Feeling like
doing something,
I flip a wooden
chair over to see
if it bears any markings.

Jesus was here
it says.

I stagger out for coffee,
because it’s my turn
to make the run
and because
we depend on each other
like this
and I savor
every precious minute of it,
every crack in the sidewalk,
every sideways glance,
every movement of air and light,
knowing when I return,
I’m going to sneak
through that little tear
in the fabric of this world
and never look back.

Just like you
have done
for me.

48 Comments

  1. Beautiful Michael. Seems like there’s some chasm ” at the office”. If true, all too familiar. Sometimes I am desperate for signs, other times I find enjoyment and peace in simply living.

    peace,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Linda,

      The office has actually been quite good of late. The origin of this poem is the sensation of “waffling” back and forth between genuine surrender and feelings of disconnection and uncertainty that creep in occasionally. And the desire to dive through the opening and not look back…! Realizing we make this choice for everyone when we make it is comforting to contemplate. We are what we seek…!

      Peace
      Michael

      PS – Watched the first twenty minutes of Matt Kahn’s latest video (I think his latest) on YouTube and loved it. Very similar to ACOL in its themes, at least the parts I listened to…

      Liked by 1 person

      • thanks Mike for the clarification. Now that you identified your condition, i must say that I fins myself in a similar place. All in means all in and sometimes I do not feel ready..

        So glad you jumped on the Matt Kahn train for a short ride. While I remain careful not to persuade others to follow my path ( or embrace a teacher) it does bring me joy that you loved his video. The fact that you connect it to ACOL peaks my curiosity about ACOL. Can you supply me with a good link for ACOL?

        peace always, Linda

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Linda,

          Matt Kahn is a fountain of gems in my opinion. The similarity I felt between the portion of the video I watched and A Course of Love is the emphasis Matt placed on shifting from being a “student” to being a “master”. I took his meaning to be that wherever we are, we can always adopt the approach of the master, by blessing what is, and not distancing ourselves from the immediacy of a holy experience by assuming we’re not ready for it, or have much to learn before we can experience “it”…

          A Course of Love has a similar message, phrased as “the end of the time of learning”, and describes the idea that the stance of learning, though helpful for a time, is no longer required. Direct experience is favored (for those drawn to this perhaps), which is phrased as “acceptance” that we are already accomplished. We will never be more accomplished than we are today, though we will discover joyous aspects of ourselves and create new experiences, perhaps indefinitely, those experiences will not “complete us”…

          Here is a link to learn more about A Course of Love: http://acourseoflove.com/

          Michael

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I think one day we will all sneak through that little tear in the fabric, and each see our life as the playground it is, laughing at the absurdity of it.
    with much love
    Alison

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agree, Alison. The opening is looming large for all of us… It’s perhaps little different than the act of taking the shrink wrap off of our lives… 🙂

      Much Love to you also…
      Sounds like you guys had a nice retreat, for which I am glad…
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karin… Emergency exits are good to have… I walk around with a parachute these days, wherever I go… Just in case…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is interesting you point to the last line, Diwata, which I still feel needs more work to really tease out the feeling… But I’m glad you know it… You’ve made the job easy for me… 🙂 We all know this, don’t we? The realization that it only matters if we take the plunge together and the truth is that’s the only way it has ever been anyway…

      Zany Wild
      Sweet Speed
      F!#@% Your 3rd Eye
      Feelings Shared,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Michael, the last lines were like a poignant reminder of my past year’s life events though. I’m not sure how I’ve made your job easy for you nonetheless, glad to help…Wandering around, think everyone’s taking the plunge… Swoosh! Haha F!#@% Your Third Eye – you can keep this line for sure, it’s for everyone!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Diwata,

          I love that lines I don’t fully appreciate, work wonders in the hands of others! I’ve noted this from time to time… I’ve posted before thinking, well, it’s not really there yet, but it’s all I have today… And some have found those posts touching or helpful or insightful far beyond what I may have perceived as likely. This is part of the magic of our interconnectedness I think, peeking through despite ourselves on some occasions… That’s what I meant by your making the job easy… Even if I was uncertain, the job was done!

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • “And some have found those posts touching or helpful or insightful far beyond what I may have perceived as likely.” – I agree Michael… There are things I still want to say or ask, perhaps, it is better to keep everything to myself… Thank you – Diwata

            Liked by 1 person

            • Some silences can be as rich in communication as sounds… We can meet again here, Diwata, or at your place, whenever the time is appropriate, to discover a bit more of what is in these spaces… 🙂

              Michael

              Like

  3. This resonated with me so much, the tear in the fabric that never stays closed even if patched often….thank you and loved the Jesus was here under the chair bit also😊 K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, K. I’m grateful to know of the resonance, and I’m glad we amplified these feelings of proximity to these passages through the world… I’m grateful for all those who have left their bread crumbs along the way… This trail we follow, is never quite what it seems…! 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, sometimes almost fairytale like…although hansel and Gretel inspired me as a child….I,was enameled more with the candy house than breadcrumbs….shiny things it must be….but life to has days like a strange parable, maybe it just repeats itself in new ways with new names and faces….thanks Michael, I always love the depth of your comments…have a peace filled day, Kim😊

        Liked by 2 people

        • You too, Kim! There is something that repeats, and something that emerges anew… It is an interesting paradox I think, the way we are creatures of habit inhabiting a realm in which no two moments are ever the same… 🙂

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Each time I read a new work of yours Michael, I think to myself that you’ve taken yet another leap forward in your chosen sphere of artistry. This surprises me on every occasion, because upon each successive reading I also think that it would be hard for you to improve in any respect, and yet still you do, if I may say so. That may seem to place a certain weight of expectation upon you as an artist, which I trust I do not do. And besides, all artists have their weaker moments at some point during their careers, except perhaps the likes of Picasso, and Bach; it’s just that I haven’t yet detected any such thing coming from your quarter. So, this is my roundabout way of congratulating you whilst saying standards are high, and yet rising too my friend.

    Is this supernal piece something to do with the coruscating interplay of faith and doubt, and how in a finger snap our awareness may shift as if it were suddenly inhabiting an altogether different world? One moment, we are engrossed in our self-imagined story, the next suddenly seeing that was exactly what had been occurring, and understanding too how limited our vision had then been. It can appear as if life suddenly comes into focus, we see it as it is and always was, perhaps wondering awhile to ourselves how we had not noted the prior blurriness of our vision. This is where systematic practice comes in I think, much as some may eschew it; then again you may be pointing towards something which lies beyond the remit of practice and ready recollection.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear dear Hariod,

      Thank you very much for the congratulatory remarks. I am gratefully resonating in the field of mutual respect and admiration that they engender for me. Your response here is both sweet and ironic, as this poem came at the tail end of a period of drifting back and forth between painful uncertainty and the peace that comes from relinquishing whatever it is one was holding on to… I can only conclude I am insane. There is a line in A Course of Love when Jesus says that “to know the truth, but not live by it, is insanity.” And if you find yourself walking down the street, asking yourself if you’re living by it, you probably are, but just don’t see it… 🙂 This is insanity… To be a holy and beautiful arising, and know it not. It’s the tragedy of the world as viewed through the false self, and I find it a deeply engrained pattern at times.

      In the midst of these topsy-turvy coruscations, I watched the US Women’s National Team score that string of ridiculous goals in the World Cup Final, and it underscored the power of confidence for me. And the power of simple acceptance. As described in your recent pieces, “trying” to obtain a particular state is like trying to free up more beach front property by pushing the water back with bull dozers. Knowing this, and allowing the stream of feelings and spaces that traverse the threshold of our awareness on a continuous basis can be two very different things.

      There’s another quote from ACOL I fall back upon, which is that we pass through a period of “unlearning” all that we falsely learned, and old feelings arise and it feels as though one has “gotten nowhere”, but we are assured that it is not simply a repeat of the past. Rather, it is like waving good-bye… So, tonight I feel quite good, and don’t want to leave you with the sense I am in any way not at ease this evening… Systematic practice I also find helpful in these times. I guess that doesn’t make it systematic if I only take the medicine while in pain… 🙂 But I feel as though every moment becomes the practice, as difficult as that is at times…

      One onion layer
      closer to true
      sanity,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reading and rereading your poem is like stepping into another world or perhaps another dimension. It is so original and so well delineated and so unlike anything I have ever read. I feel as though I have gone through the looking glass into a world of sometimes pain and always beauty.

    xxellen

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Ellen. Since you’ve passed through, I can only hope the migraine has lifted my friend… Your words are kind and true– there is pain in here as well as beauty, which is how the world seems on this side of the tear in its fabric… Beauty, love, pain and confusion seem to swirl together… until right-seeing affords one the finger-snap clarification Hariod described… 🙂

      Peace and healing–
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  6. footloosedon says

    There’s usually a line somewhere in each of your posts that makes me laugh out loud. In this case it was the ‘Jesus was here.’ written on the bottom of a wooden chair. The absurdity and the possibility nascent in that one line was priceless. The depth of your wisdom continues to amaze and delight me (I am not envious, I am not, I am not). Love, Don

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! Thank you, Don… You latched onto the line that was a clincher for me, too. I can recall what it felt like when those words fell of the mountainside and landed in my ear… a feeling of excitement… Thoughts given, not made, are a shared delight… Sustenance for all of us together… I’ve grappled with envy, too. Realizing everything we see arises from a shared heart is helpful to me sometimes. Unity– period– though it can be difficult to touch at times, dispels all of these strange feelings. We are together on this path every step of the way, though sometimes we know it not.

      Love to you also, my friend.
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  7. This profound tear makes me tear up, of course, along with every body else. You say it like no one else does – watermelon, summer salad, fresh.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, M! Your “watermelon, summer salad, fresh” was a fresh take all its own of wonderful visual proportions. I like this idea– that freshness and new life are a few of the present joys that await our discovery. I am just this evening wagging an “Oh no you didn’t!” finger at a recurring pattern. I think the tear in the fabric of the world is kind of like this tunnel they have at O’Hare. You listen to the United Airline theme song and take a tour of old patterns and stomping grounds before emerging on a plateau of waving grass, a fold-up table of sparkling apple cider and little white party napkins, and a few close friends… 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I feel the desire to read this again and again.
    Each time I read it, I approach the “little tear in the fabric
    of my whole life
    and everything
    it might have been
    or still might be.”
    Is it okay to re-blog this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure. Thank you JoAnne! And I’m glad you enjoyed it… I know the feeling of desiring to approach a feeling again and again. We are like playing children sometimes in this regard– running across the yard, dashing through the fountain of holiness, getting sprinkled with living waters again, and again… Sometimes a feeling is a discovery of a brand new world… 🙂

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your poem has reminded me of two favorite songs 1). Zero7 song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj6yXxVc21Y (This is the first time I’m seeing this video.) This has been a favorite song of mine for a good (and the most recent) decade of my life.

    It’s amazing how things change and how we relate to having been somewhere. “Jesus was here.” Not a doubt about it.

    The second song, a Fugazi song, is a favorite from my teens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMOAXm94VWo Michael! We bonded over music before.. perhaps you may have encountered these songs?

    Thank you!! Have a musical day filled with lots and lots of presence!!! Thank you for reminding me of my life, too. Ka

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ka! I had never heard of Zero7, and I loved that song… I’m always delighted to make a new musical discovery… I’ve heard of Fugazi and listened to them in bits and pieces, but back in that time period– also in high school– I had to make very strategic economic decisions with regards to my album purchases, and somehow Fugazi was one always eeked out by another… The access to music via the internet was not a reality “back then”! Here are a few of my favorites from that time period (early 90’s), totally unrelated to my post… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Michael,
        I wasn’t familiar with Swervedriver; thank you for the introduction. I can appreciate your situation with Fugazi. My punk rock friends, I suppose- as I had a lot different friends through the years (from one another, yet similar to me), had these albums (Fugazi… this just happened to be my favorite song from them and spoke to a deeper yearning for real living within me, circa 15 years old, mid-to-late 90s). I think I was born with the yearning for what is one way of phrasing it: soul freedom. Now… Toad the Wet Sprocket song makes me melt a little bit more…
        Very special times listening to them. Now I live by the ocean…. ❤

        Though the songs may not seem to directly relate your poem here; they speak similarly to places that cannot easily be touched by words, and yet you've done it here. Also, the songs have helped to build us, give us something to share in… never alone.
        Grateful for this exchange!
        Thank you so much, Ka

        Liked by 1 person

  10. ” everyone with tears in their eyes ” …me too dear Michael ! Your ability to make the profound , simple ….a divine gift . And you make me desire to go barefoot thru that ” little tear in the fabric ” with an open heart of love for all of us ….thankyou , love , megxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Meg, welcome to the flood zone… 🙂 And thank you once again for your heartfelt presence here. I’m quite sure your full-hearted crossing of this threshold has changed everything… I’m remembering it was in Europe perhaps, when you ducked underneath the world’s strange tarp and found the place prepared, with candlelight, and vacant seat awaiting your return… Any who step through, do so for all. We meet there on the other side, in unity… Love to you, too, my friend…

      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Genie says

    My, you live dangerously Michael, to ask Hafiz questions! one never knows what will be heard when the great Hafiz speaks; in fact, he often shouts: Dance! and sometimes he whispers: Dance! funny guy, which one does he want? an exuberant dance or a whisper dance? or are they the same thing? …I don’t know it’s just so esoteric …who can think when the great mystic/poet Hafiz, speaks?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Yes… living on the edge… 🙂 Circling a tear in the fabric of everything I’ve ever known… I was actually quite shy about referencing Hafiz back when this first began, but I have grown more comfortable with it as the days have gone by. His presence fills a needed role in my writing, and the feelings of inspiration continue to arrive, so I am trusting in that… It is much less about thinking than letting him give me a guided tour of my own feelings… 🙂

      What is to fear…? Would we rather walk a tight rope with a leopard, or a wide-planked boardwalk with a hippopotamus!? I’m not sure it matters in the final accounting, since the meaning is found in any case, in our falling over the edge

      Blessings!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Genie says

        What if you are Hafiz, Michael? What if you were Hafiz, Michael?
        You’re everything …perhaps a reincarnation of Hafiz…. perhaps he was your teacher? perhaps you were his teacher? One never knows anything absolutely, when one speaks of Hafiz, one never knows anything absolutely, even when not speaking of Hafiz!
        I dare say, just the mention of his name, Hafiz, turns me into a madwoman, and that’s a good thing, divine intoxication madness is a madwoman, yes, I’ll wear that label and spray ginger spiked laughter onto Venus just to watch her wink at me, also drunk — having spent time watching Hafiz dance to a bird’s splash in paradise.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m delighting in the who-can-say-ness of your words here, Genie! For we are indeed all of it, none of it– supreme court justices and poets dancing to splashing birds. Thinking back to your previous post about going mad, perhaps we agree there’s another sort of madness best not to be without!?

          I tried to write about it once… here:

          https://embracingforever.com/2015/02/17/out-in-the-open/

          Thank you for this drunken resonance!
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a superb piece, Michael. Finding Jesus underneath the chair also made me laugh as it cleverly broke the mood for a moment before plunging back in. The ‘little tear in the fabric
    of my whole world’ is a beautiful, rich and sweetly evocative phrase. And ‘This is insanity… To be a holy and beautiful arising, and know it not. It’s the tragedy of the world as viewed through the false self, and I find it a deeply engrained pattern at times,’ is a point of exploration for me also. Jumping through the tear is the only way forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Jeni… Thank you very much for the kind words and sharing your enjoyment of this piece here. It does my heart good… I wish you much peace and joy exploring the needle-eye opening through the pile of shed skins… My center is steadily warming to the reality of what lies beyond… One breath at a time, joining together, slipping beneath the surfaces of our thoughts… we see what we all both share and desire most deeply…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Like

    • Hi Ruth,

      Yes, I do believe we are reminded. And heartened. A beautiful line… Thank you for your visit and for taking a peek through the crack in this little work!

      Michael

      Like

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