Somewhere January 6, 2014


No matter what we’re going through, the opposite is happening somewhere else at the same time. This awareness doesn’t minimize our own experience but adds context and medicine to the truth of any given moment, the way a rip in the curtains we have drawn seems like a violation of the privacy we so wanted though it is only letting the light of the world in. This poem tries to understand this paradox.


As something is breaking, somewhere

something is being joined. As something

is joining, somewhere something is breaking.

As something closes, something opens. As

something opens, something closes. Where

there is dark, somewhere there is light. And

where there is light, somewhere there is dark.

When things go clear, somewhere things are

thickening into confusion. And when people

are agitated, others are calm. I don’t understand

this. But as something is taken, something is given.

As something is given, something is taken. As some-

one is cruel, someone is kind. And when kindness

appears, somewhere something cruel is poised to

sting. Then someone is lost, as another is finally

at home. And some are aware of this, while others

are not. The way things break and join at once, the

way people are cruel and kind at once, the way life

constantly opens and closes, how there is light and

dark in every soul, how we’re clear and confused

just behind our heart, and lost and at home in

every breath—This is the river we’re born into,

turbulent at the surface, swift in the deep. This

is what we try to make sense of and live through,

feeling it’s all too much but needing more. So lift

your head and steady your heart, knowing, as you’re

swept along, that Experience is the face of God.

A Question to Walk With: Whatever you’re feeling in this moment, open your heart to it completely. Now open your heart completely the fact that the opposite of what you’re feeling is happening somewhere else. Try to imagine both and the feelings merge. In the next few days, try to describe this experience to a friend.

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