For Instance

For Instance August 22, 2011

I started writing because life took my breath away. It was how when stunned by beauty I tried to stay stunned. How when touched I tried to keep the touch alive. The miracle of sun on water, for instance, when dwelled upon, begins to say, you see, this is what love can do to pain. The old woman sifting tea through a large wood-framed screen, who learned this from her mother; she sifting tea in the light morning wind without a word; her very presence begins to say, you see, this is how the heart broken into compassion sifts what is true, so it can be steamed into something warm that heals… I still long to be stunned. I still long to be touched. And as my eyes grow slow to focus and my hearing falls into a wash, I am losing the distinction between people and nature, between cityscapes and landscapes, between silence and music. And wonderfully, in a startling return to miracle, they are all at heart one, as they have always been. The other day George and I cut up on old cherry tree and sawed one of the logs in half. It was filled with ants who had been feasting on the knot. They scurried into the grass. Funny how we like to burrow into the knots. After surrendering its knots, the log was empty. It was then we noticed a line of inner grain that looked just like a feather; as if some ancient bird had been turned into wood long before we were born. This is our plight on earth: to be stunned, to be touched, to eat our way through the knots till we are light as a feather.

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