Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Red Inside

Yah. I'm tired of poetry. Enough already.

Strange echoes of time, frames shifting. It all changes, and it all remains the same.

The aide slid a needle into my arm, this morning, and fresh bright red blood bubbled into a tube. How odd, that we're carrying this beautiful rich shade of red inside our arteries all the time, hidden out of the light.

The beauty inside. To learn to see it: to shine a light and see that redness, that brightness, filling the body and the mind. The spirit falters, in the darkness and dullness and lethargy of surfaces. I start to believe the surfaces are real, or at least more real than the insides. But the insides are at least as real. The outsides can't subsist for a moment without them.

I am so easily frightened and distracted by surfaces. And I hear the chariot at my back. I have to hold very still, sometimes. The mind, like a nervous greyhound, straining at the leash.

I sat at the table last night, eating a marvelous soup, and wonderful bread, in a beautiful house, with a brilliant poet. And I couldn't reach to the insides. It's baffling sometimes. What stands between? What is getting in our light? I couldn't remember a single poem to ask about. And there was so much I had wanted to ask.

What's getting in our light? I am. And that's why I have to go on retreat. It's not rocket science: I'm getting in our light, that's all. So anxious to make things happen that they can't happen. I need some days of prayer and meditation.

Some things you can't see, if you look straight at them. Among them, people. For the very good reason that to see a person you have to look with their eyes, not your own. So it works better if you're both looking at something else.

I do love the laying on of hands. For its own sake, and for the end-run it makes around my anxiety and diffidence. But it's no substitute for practice.

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