sometimes i lose the thread of myself
A poem for the Wilderness
Sometimes, I lose the thread of myself. I forget what I am - and what this is.
Something in the world bursts into flames
and I am unable to get to the control buttons
quickly enough and
It happens less now. But it happens.
Another fragile, heart-made thing is lost.
The nest that I’d just finished weaving
out of truth and memory and faith
crashes to the earth;
the castle that we built too close to the shore dissolves beneath the waves;
the lights that we depended on flicker out;
the casserole that I assembled so carefully, out of organic vegetables
and brown basmati rice,
is abandoned on the stove.
We'd just hung a string of Christmas lights across the salvaged casement window,
which my husband had suspended on wires between the living room and my office.
I’d just launched my next kite (I mean, class) into the world.
I'd finally found a tea that I liked enough to stick with.
We get attached to things.
of how things are
and how things should be
of how things work
and should work
We forget that these walls
that we place between things -
good and evil;
sanity and insanity;
safety and wilderness -
are as fragile as the skin that keeps the blood inside our bodies from rushing out.
We keep ourselves busy with
We keep ourselves frantic, always
raking the leaves
shoveling the snow,
taking out the trash
and sinking into tubs filled with warm water.
that we are
floating in the amniotic sac of a dream,
as we are walking,
into and out of rooms.
This time, when I fell,
(like every other time that I have fallen)
I panicked and,
(though every explorer knows that in wilderness, the first thing to do is establish compass points; and build a little lean-to against the rain)
I took off running
tearing my clothing on branches,
scratching my legs on sharp thorns.
I kept calling, Where am I? Where are you?
This is what happens with exile,
when we are lost;
we reach for the people we love
In ancient times,
when the sun set,
the people were never sure it would rise again.
The gods were capricious, demanding sacrifices.
the people lit fires and told stories,
huddled together, hoping what they had to offer was enough.
We do that now, too.
Huddled around the blue glow in the living room - our wide-screen window onto the fire that’s burning somewhere a little too close to here. We lean in.
Watching. Shadowy figures moving through the stages of grief.
Night always comes,
and God separates the light from the darkness.
Then, the haunting begins:
the unpaid bill,
the friendship left alone too long,
that damn phone call that I never quite have the time to make—
the crack of a twig
a rustling at the perimeter of the campfire.
How do we know the things we cannot see are even there?
And how do we know
if what we CAN see is
friend or foe? Good witch or bad?
What's happening? Where are we?
I mean, what story are we in?
Is this the edge of a black hole,
sucking creation into nothingness?
Or is it a white cone of stardust spinning new shapes out of luminous threads of light?
We won't know until it's over.
But even so, somehow,
I woke up in this white room,
light spilling in from windows that seemed to be
everywhere. all at once.
I am never sure how I arrive here (though I suspect angels are involved.)
I opened my eyes and found myself holding onto my thread once more
—Thread of hope, thread of peace, thread of equanimity or even, love. I mean, what IS this thread that keeps me going? Was it here all along?—
Anyway, I found myself holding onto it,
rinsed with a gratitude so bright
so deep that I became thank you,
I was gratitude
- a thread of light in the wilderness.
In Soul Caller Salon, I offer monthly programs in “Waking Dream Work” which is not about analyzing dreams, looking for messages from beyond. It’s about living waking awareness that we are always dreaming - and peeking behind the curtain of our own world of meaning: the soul-illuminated parallel world where mystery and meaming constellate to make life magical - and meaningful.
Read more here.