Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What She Told Me

I was not tracking the flow, so this poem surprised me and seems a really fine follow up. As an object love is fragile. If we make love too special, it’s a trap. As a space it is like the ocean. The blood plasma is very close to sea water in many respects. When creatures moved out of the sea onto the land it was only because they found a way to carry the sea with them. And consider this, sea creatures became creatures by finding the way to bind up the ocean inside them. Love is like this. Successful love makes it difficult to know where we begin and end and thus reveals both the beginning and ending of life itself as bright stars of consciousness in the spaciousness of love.

What She Told Me

What we glorify, distracts.

See love’s heart up close,
closer than my gaze.

Believe love so fragile
that it cannot be grasped,
only touched by the breath.

Believe it so immense
that we all live in love
like creatures in the sea,
often forgetting the water.

May 21, 2009 3:16 PM


  1. Isn't this what everyone see love up microcscopic that it is immense? I want love to be so damn close and personal that is oceanic! *sigh*. friggin' romantic me, but I can't give up the quest.

  2. I love forgetting the water :)

  3. Annie, everything has a cost. In the illusions of our world the price rises and falls. In the realities beneath the fundamental cost is never zero. The cost of love is energy, work, effort. If love is an ocean and it has an inside of me and an outside, then there is a circulation to be maintained, a refreshment that is essential. This is the fundamental verb of love and you and I are its heart. We must beat.

    That comes first. It turns out it is not always natural to do the work of love, which is constant and unremitting, like the heart's work must be, rarely skipping beats without a consequence but consciously engaged when we are responsibly participating, no longer children of expectation.

    On piece of the work of love is to remain open, allowing the flow, no matter the impurities that may be present. The impurities do not matter, are not matter; there is no matter, not in the stream of love. What is love's flow and what it carries is not what it seems in this rocky world.

    That is why staying unconscious is not enough. Without exquisite attention to love's cost, we will continue to pay the illusory rise and fall of the price, always too much or too little, and love will seem to flee, seem to break in the burden, or we will.

  4. Michelle, I love you. Keep swimming, little fish. That may be enough for now.

  5. I commented on this yesterday, but Blogger must have gotten me. I do wan to take a minute to say I think this may be one of your lovliest of poems. The whole poem is fragile and beautiful as love.

  6. Karen, thank you. This poem is deceptively simple, as it required an entire life of over sixty years to be able to say it with the sincerity that permits the energy beneath it. Without that energy it would be vapid and sappy, would have had something in it that stole from it anything genuine.

    As it is, the image is borrowed from another place in the literature rather than being my own original. The fish in the ocean is originally egoic shadow consciousness within the wider space of awakening. My use is as correct as the original, I feel. I am sure it is equally a work to love as it is to awaken.

    And yes, it is not love itself that is robust but one's commitment and decision to love that can be robust. Love's fragility is real, why it often breaks, why argument and strife can occur. Love flees. But then we are still committed, still decide, or we are attached and desire. That allows love's return. If we are too noisy, we can drown love out, even if it is there, withdrawn into some cranny out of the turbulence.

    I don't believe love itself ever grows so big as to be unbreakable, though our commitment to it can. That is why our decision is never enough, nor can our commitment survive circumstances. That is why we can only love in the absence so often, or love not at all, though we once did.

  7. And so it is alive. It has a life of its own. I'm not sure we control it at all. I'm thinking perhaps it moves into our shell, and then sometimes moves out. There is no keeping it by throttling necks. There is no neck. There is only beat. So while we have it, press face against it and view it big. Wear it like egg. Don't care if you look the fool.

    As always, my head hurts while trying to follow one rung to the next, but this analogy is meaty. I like it!

    (you're kind to me. i'm grateful.)

  8. Erin, I feel you are kind to me.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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