The Worst Thing We Ever Did — Chelan Harkin

The worst thing we ever did

The worst thing we ever did
was put God in the sky
out of reach
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
pulling the divinity
from the leaf,
sifting out the holy from our bones,
insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement
through everything we’ve made
a hard commitment to see as ordinary,
stripping the sacred from everywhere
to put in a cloud man elsewhere,
prying closeness from your heart.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
The worst thing we ever did
was take the dance and the song
out of prayer
made it sit up straight
and cross its legs
removed it of rejoicing
wiped clean its hip sway,
its questions,
its ecstatic yowl,
its tears.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
The worst thing we ever did is pretend
God isn’t the easiest thing
in this Universe
available to every soul
in every breath.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
~ Chelan Harkin, in poetry book ‘Susceptible to Light

Big thanks to my friend Rhona for sharing this with me.

What Now?

O.K. The world might be opening up, but are you? Am I? How comfortable are you going out? To a movie? A restaurant? A friend’s house? Do you find yourself edging back to normal, redefining  normal, or has sequestering simply become a quieter and preferred way of life?

My answers are all over the place and can change day to day. Now that the strictures are being loosened, I and nearly everyone I associate with has been vaccinated, opportunities (potentially) abound. I’m not ready. Yes, we’ve been to a few restaurants outdoors and even went inside for our anniversary.  We chose a restaurant that was enormous, high ceilinged and held to a limited number of patrons. It still felt odd.

I’ll be making my first airplane post-Corona flight next month. Determination and eagerness outweigh the weirdness of it. But the weirdness is still there. It’s a relief to decide for myself intead of fear of Covid being the deciding factor of every inch of my life. Yet I don’t want to lose the cocoon feeling of this past 15 months. Life slowed; time elongated; there was less to do and we enjoyed it more.

What about you? How are you moving forward?


photo credit: “crowded beach” by notarim is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Forgiveness — Molly Peacock

Forgiveness is not an abstraction for
it needs a body to feel its relief.
Knees, shoulders, spine are required to adore
the lightness of a burden removed. Grief,
like a journey over water completed,
slides its keel in the packed sand reef.
Forgiveness is contact with the belief
that your only life must now be lived.
Molly Peacock, b. 1947
quote source: First Light Meditation
For more on Molly Peacock, visit the Bookshelf.

Every Culture’s Dilemma — Barry Lopez

No culture has yet solved the dilemma each has faced with the growth of the conscious mind: how to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in all life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s own culture but within oneself. If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts the responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction because if all contradictions were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of a leaning into the light.                                 
Barry Lopez, 1945 – 2020 
quote source: First Light Meditation