Renunciation

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Almost three months in, the day had come.
We placed our chairs on the deck, facing the gardens,
spring flowers blooming and birdsong blossoming, colors
bleached by the brilliant light of the midday sun.

It looked
like we’d staged a Damascene conversion;
invoking transformation, we could
no longer doubt that the world had changed,
and our lives
were on a different road.

You sat, and I draped your shoulders
with a towel,
lord of all you surveyed,
and I, your handmaiden, cut
your glittering hair,
then you cut mine, a strange new ritual,
that somehow stopped time, my breath,
and mattered.
Illuminated.

Until now, this hadn’t seemed
substantially real.

Long ago, when girls prepared
to renounce the world–every
fascinating spectacle, tawdry lure and
gaudy spangle (and strangers,
surprises, and deep delight)–
their hair was shorn to mark the surrender.

Sometimes, they were offered
a crown of thorns,
for, not only were they turning
to confinement with shining grace,
but vowing to share
their life with
Love’s suffering.

A robin darted down and snatched
a silver curl to weave
into his nest.

I thought,
this is what it is now and
what it may be always–
the world renounced,
forgotten, silver curls
hanging from every tree brilliant
in the midday light,
us, on our chairs,
shorn and shining,
wearing our crowns of suffering,
sharing our life of grace.

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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

Balancing Act

So often it’s our own heart
that is set upon the shelf,
the weakest kindness offered
is kindness to the self.
IMG-2668A tale for slow gestation:

Great hunters visited a tribe of people in one of the hunters’ distant, “uncivilized” colonies to pursue a rare beast whose habitat was deep in the remote wilderness of this land.

They had brought with them all the accouterments of their modern and technologically-advanced lives, believing them to be both necessary and “superior.” These included motorized vehicles that hurled them about, at great speed, from one desired location to another.

The native people had no experience with mechanized velocity and feared these roaring conveyances but, needing what the great hunters offered, the few men selected as guides (desiring to retain their own high tribal rank) tentatively entered the trucks and wagons, and took their seats, as directed.

The vehicles started up and flew over the dusty trails. The scenery and known landmarks rushed past, and a few gasps and frightened screams escaped from the native men as they gripped what they could to remain stable, and struggled to adjust to life at such a speed. The colonizers chuckled at their primitive responses.

When the vehicles arrived at their remote destinations, the colonizers leapt out with their hunting rifles and dashed into the fields to seek their prey. But the natives remained, sitting in silence beneath a tree that shaded the vehicle, now stilled.

The hunters cried back at them, and demanded the guides make haste; making haste, after all, was what allowed one to accomplish tasks and reach goals, like slaying unknown beasts and hanging their heads on the civilized walls of their superior estates.

But the natives sat, breathing, eyes closed.

With great impatience, the leader of the hunting party approached them and demanded an explanation.

“You have brought us to this place too quickly,” explained the native’s own leader. “We must sit and wait for our spirits to catch up.”

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As with all wisdom tales, parables, myths, and fables, and in varying gradations only we can assign, we are every character in the story, and the message is often that we are out of balance and need to heal ourselves. We need to find ways to restore our center, the core of our being (“core” derived literally and etymologically from the root for “heart”), to offer ourselves and then the world, the finest we have to offer.

Unbalanced, we have given too much of our power away to the exterior accouterments of life: the things that create its surface appearance and tangibility, and we’ve left our spirits stunted and anemic. We have not allowed them to “catch up with us.” How unkind we have become to ourselves, to our own lives, and therefore, to the world around us.

There are neural injuries that leave the patient capable of seeing only half of the reality before her; everything to the right or left of her vision field is rendered invisible. Living unbalanced, we are blinded to the spiritual part of our existence. Not living from a balanced center has led to the manifestation we now endure: a world dying from neglect as well as exploitation. We’ve profited all we can, and given little-to-nothing back.

The empirical has received our finest attention and the transcendent so very little. Our energy is directed outward, and when we experience even a flicker of intuition that we need to feed our interior, our immediate response is guilt and a kind of shame for feeling a hunger that is no longer acknowledged or valued; after all, the sacred can’t be bought and sold, nor is it “productive” to sit still and listen. It’s not on the task list. I can’t sell what introspection and healing offer, and you can’t buy it.

Desecrated life. Desecrated earth.

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We’re months into staying at home and here is what I’ve noticed: as I’m being invited to sit with greater stillness and listen for the wisdom my shadow can offer my spirit’s growth and integration (what I believe to be the ongoing, healing journey of our lives), there are days I want to flee more than ever into tasks, to manufacture tasks to keep “busy.” There must be more to do…shall I paint a room, or five of them? Or take down all the curtains? Wash and press them? Weed the acres of gardens? Again? Doing things keeps me a valuable person. Doesn’t it?

Behold, my psyche’s walls are lined with the trophies of my many lists, tasks crossed out, goals accomplished. What a good girl am I! My spirit? Did it catch up with me? What spirit? I went to the wilderness and all I came home with were the heads of beasts I imagined made me look superior, valuable, accomplished.

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A friend of mine moved through her daily yoga routine one day last week and suddenly broke down into deep sobs, granting herself a very long, healing cry. As she told me this, she quickly cushioned the telling of the experience by listing all the blessings she’s very aware of: home, food, employment, etc., as though, because she has worked for and earned these things (and also been blessed, for which she is consciously grateful), she does not “deserve” to experience stress during a pandemic and its unknown outcome. While the world is also in crisis from the climate crisis we’ve induced. It’s somehow unjust for her to grieve ending her career in quarantine, to grieve anything at all; after all, no one she loves has died of this virus.

Others have shared similar stories, with the similar need to apologize for “even feeling” distress. I have, too…but am wondering how and when we became unable to feel and honor our feelings, when we began to assign guilt and to almost expect punishment for sensing the need to be still, the time to let our spirits catch up with us? When did we become so unbalanced that, unless we are doing/earning, we’re useless?

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I suppose it was during the time we destroyed our water, destroyed the Amazon, destroyed the organs of the earth with such violent fracking that it induced earthquakes, during the time we destroyed the habitats of our fellow earthlings so severely that their extinctions have occurred and are continuing, as is ours. Certainly, we were well-separated from our spirits by the time we tolerated others who were seeking shelter and freedoms we enjoyed to be separated from those they loved and confined to cages.

And so, we’ve come to this time, when we’ve divided our wholeness and hidden the parts deemed weak: The feminine in all of us, the creative artist in all of us, the divergent thinker, and the compassionate mother, the benevolent one who is hospitable and welcomes the stranger.

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It’s time these missing parts, our spirits, caught up with us. I fear we are wasting the preciousness of this time we have been given to heal, the days we have been given to transform how and what we are creating with our lives and energy.

And I think much of this begins with being kind to ourselves, which is very different from indulging appetites out of anxiety. It’s allowing ourselves the time to feel what we’re feeling with acceptance, non-judgement, and a generous, loving heart.

It’s granting ourselves a good cry without apologizing, and to grieve the staggering losses we are collectively enduring. And engaging in the yoga/gentle movement that triggers tears as well.

And, yes, it’s allowing ourselves hours of rest and relaxation, even during a pandemic, hours when nothing has to be accomplished and no tasks crossed off a list. And then, noticing what thoughts and feelings emerge when such peace is permitted to them.

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It’s listening deeply for the old stories that need editing, the past choices that need forgiveness, the lies that can be healed by the truth.

It’s letting go of whatever fails to serve our growth, the kindness we offer ourselves and, therefore, others, which strengthens the healing and gifts we offer the world now, and when we gather together again, our spirits reintegrated, and our vision and gifts re-balanced.

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My Friends,

I’d like to share with you how very dire the circumstances of animal rescues, all over the world, have become during the pandemic. Funds are limited and thinned by need, I know, but if there are any that you can spare, please know how vital they are to keep these rescues saving those so desperately in need. The rescue I work with is Paddy’s Paws, an all-volunteer organization that brings rescued dogs from the Houston area to our own and then to homes and families who have applied and been carefully vetted for the privilege of adopting. Four of our five pups are Paddy’s dogs and we are eternally blessed.  http://paddyspaws.blogspot.com/

My very good friend works tirelessly for the Freshfields Animal Rescue in Liverpool, England. They save everything you can imagine, and release back to nature those who survive and can adapt. http://www.freshfields.org.uk

Certainly, I would welcome any possible donations you could make to either of these rescues, but there may well be those closer to your home also in need of supplies, cash, assistance you could safely provide, and more. Please, help as you are able. Gentle peace.

 

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

Rescued

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In the no-time and all-time of the infinite breath, we learned again that we are starlight, created to honor the earth, to join her wondrous mystery and holy dance.

In silence and stillness, the abandoned ones crept out from the misery we’d made and told us the tale of who we came to be:

We were the blessed who could gather the wounded and neglected, the forgotten and exiled, the furred, feathered, finned, and wild-winged beauty of earth; who could love them back to wholeness, who could rescue ourselves by saving it all.

Soulfriends, companions, you sang back our starsong, our earthsong, the song that cries save us, love us, make us whole…

And all that was broken, healed. Rescuing, we were rescued; loving, we were loved…

Hearing our heartsong, we danced.

~ Kitty O’Meara

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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

It Was a Very Tender Time

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It was a very tender time,
confusion and wishing
for answers, missing
faces, old acquaintances,
laughter, and the precious touch of hands–

Rushing, as we had, through life
so busy, filling
calendars, stilling
questions, planning purchases,
always, looking past our lives and loves–

Contemplate and turn the mind.
Turn the mind and change the world.
What we do next, matters.
We knew it, and we know it better now.

It was a nearly-over time,
last chances ending
recourse, earth sending
farewells, life disappearing
quickly, like the memory of bees–

Foolishly, we’d missed our life,
damaged earth, bleeding
woundedness, needing
triage, new imaginings
growing, possibilities remained–

Contemplate and turn the mind.
Turn the mind and change the world.
What we do next, matters.
We knew it, and we know it better now.

It was a reacquainting time,
ancient dreams singing
rising hope, bringing
answers, deeper mysteries
pausing, being sacristans to spring–

Caring, we embraced our life,
verdant shoots rising
in gardens, surprising
knowing, better dances had begun–

Contemplate and turn the mind.
Turn the mind and change the world.
What we do next, matters.
We knew it, and we know it better now.

spring bee

 

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

Confiteor

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Lilacs, always lilacs in the classrooms, aged
fragrance, ill-matched to youthful May, they
smelled of penance awaiting remorse.

Her chosen name was Sister Crescence;
can that be right? Memory obscures.
What martyr inspired such a saintly name and
who was she, when a young postulant,
to choose it? Did she dream of a love
so deep to die for it
would be gift?

We were sophomores, more fools than wise,
crushing kindness underfoot
in the clumsy rush
to rise among the favored few,
to cut first, the sharpest wit
the most admired.

We called her Toad,
above the wimple, within the coif
her nose and lips so fleshy, sausage-like
her short old fingers, Germanically fat, her stomach
protruding beneath her habit, stuffed,
misshapen corpulence.

We christened her chair
the lily pad. And buzzed
like flies in the heated May classroom,
sly laughs behind
our drudgy books.

In stickiness of sweat and spring,
all our yearning leaned
toward summer. Freedom. Beyond.

Sister Crescence was not
admired, or even
considered; I recall an intellect
wasted on our insolence.
Large amphibious eyes
winced behind rimless lenses.

We did not give her
the chance to be human, to love,
but surely
she loved words
lilacs
her God
poetry and perhaps
the song of birds in spring?

Then as old as I am now, she
sat in pain, suffering
from the tumor
that fed our jests
that took her life, this woman
we never knew, we, being young
fools, reveling in salty pride, so full
of ourselves she
wasn’t there
but to amuse.

In her silence and her suffering
Sr. Crescence offered lessons
other teachers overlooked:
cruelty most wounds the wielder.

I don’t know if any goodness
I have tendered since
has dimmed the image of
the sadness in her eyes.

And every spring I lean more
toward my own old age and
the wisdom of remorse.
I drink the chorus
of the waking world,
I kiss the songs of blackbirds
of orioles and grosbeaks, the trilling up of life,
the growing through to green,
but the homely hum of toadsong,
and the penance of lilacs
remind me
I was cruel, I was cruel and I cannot
take it back.

And every spring I kneel
on the river’s muddy bank
conjuring her spirit,
leaning toward
forgiveness,
asking yet again
for the privilege
to be kind.

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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

 

No Little Time

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One morning this week, I was reading to Phillip, and we came across a phrase describing a visit among friends lasting “no little time.” Phillip wondered at the choice of words; why not use a more straightforward expression? I thought perhaps “no little time” was more poetic than, “They remained together a long time.” 

The week went on and the words traveled with me.

As our time in confinement has lengthened, the trail beside our home has become overcrowded with bicyclists, runners, walkers, people pulling babies behind their bikes in wagons, dog-walkers, throngs gathered on the bridge, passing, coming, and going. The weather has been enticing, and I understand spring’s power for beckoning families weary of being indoors to exercise and relax on the trail. It has felt as though no little time has passed since we were told to care for ourselves and others by staying home. Long days of anxiety, of flattened, twisted energy, and of the need for sunlight and fresh air require release.

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The crowding on the trail has been especially heavy during the past two weekends. And none who passed us as we gardened, sat on the deck, walked our own dogs up and down our driveway, or glanced from the window, wore a mask or kept a safe distance from the people around them. The trail, an old railroad track, is maybe 10 ft. wide and bordered by ditches, so there’s nowhere to escape when others are coming at you; certainly, a 6-ft. barrier is impossible to maintain. 

I understand and I do not understand. People need a place outside to move and revel in the scents and views of spring, but during the flourishing of an invasive, infectious virus, why would you so cavalierly choose to put your health and that of anyone else at risk? Why a narrow trail rather than open parkland? Why behave as though the virus is gone simply because you want it to be? We know, empirically, it’s here for no little time.

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At any rate, our own use of the trail ended several weeks ago, and we struggled with that decision and the need to give 5 dogs their daily exercise, looping the yard over and over, encouraging the completion of necessary tasks the dogs are unaccustomed to performing off-trail (i.e., begging them to just poop, already). We decided against trips to the county dogpark months ago; now the trail was also off-limits, and we could be staying in place for another year, at least. We had never added a fence to our yard because of the gardens and orchard we established before we had 5 dogs, and because we enjoyed daily walks on the trail, which was often deserted and offered changing views. 

early spring trail

We called the local fencing company and asked for an estimate to fence in about a quarter-acre. Nothing fancy, a black chain-link fence with gates. Something that would fade into the scenery. Maybe. An employee came to our home. He wore no mask, but we had ours on, and backed up about 15 feet from him while he toured and measured and then announced an estimate that caused us to politely thank him for his time, wish him well, and create another plan. Apparently, the fence we wanted approximated the cost of a new home. And garage. And car.

Phillip went online and ordered some plain field fencing, posts, stakes, wood for gates, and bags of cement. He could pre-pay, set up a time for picking it up, and not have to come into contact with anyone. 

He worked hard, for no little time, over the past two weeks, fencing off an acre and creating a little dogpark for 5 happy pups. I worry about birds of prey harming my smaller dogs, so we stay out with them during these new at-home playtimes, a daily adventure we couldn’t have foreseen a year ago.

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It’s not the fence I would have liked or where I wanted it, but the dogs don’t care and–of course–no one is visiting anytime soon, so it’ll do. The pups love their new park, we’re all safely off the trail and far from the viruses being exchanged along it. 

So, we garden, weed, feed the birds, help them nest, watch the eggs hatch and, within weeks, see the babies fledge. We watch our cats rest, our dogs play, our lives pass. We engage with each other and our 4-leggeds and we allow ourselves time alone. We hold each other when we’re overwhelmed and we rest when we need to, if we can. In many ways, on most days, it feels like the retirement we imagined.

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But it’s not. And won’t be, possibly ever, which is challenging to consider. We’re fenced-in for no little time.

Others are experiencing this time completely differently, many desperately, and it has brought home again how useless and destructive it is to judge…We all got where we are through a million choices, some made before we were born, some made without our participation, or in partnerships that ended after the choices were made; often, events out of human control intervened and altered life courses. I’m grateful for our blessed little life, and I’m sad for the people who are struggling economically and emotionally. I’m worried about those who are choosing to socialize on the trail and now, in taverns, but I’m trying hard not to judge what I perceive as their errors in logic and lack of foresight. I’m hurt that the risks presented to older people like us, and with health and autoimmune issues like mine, aren’t considered as people now flock to stores, public spaces, and doctors’ offices. I’m more concerned than ever about my friends working in area hospitals.

But it does no good on earth to harbor bitterness or feed divisiveness. This is humanity, and a glance at history should corroborate the ranges of behavior predictable by now. It’s enough to be grateful for everything that’s brought me here to Full Moon Cottage, Phillip, the 4-leggeds, my writing, my books, gardens, and other diversions. It is no little time of contentment. Mostly.

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Contrary to what I’ve always thought (apparently without question), authentic kindness, hope, and love are a struggle to gestate and support; they are damn hard to nurture, lift, sustain, and carry from one moment to the next, when you really need them in your life. I’m seeing this so much more clearly during the pandemic, as all the antithetical impulses: greed, fear, anger, and hatred rush to their rising in response to the anxiety. 

Our power to love is invited to grow while we live isolated, in confinement, unemployed by any outside distraction. I feel compelled to meet the worry and anger and befriend them, to extend kindness to myself and my dear one, when a tossed laundry basket or salty curse would be more satisfying. 

So often these days, every living thing seems overwhelmingly tender and fragile to me. I can feel angry at the stupidity of those joining crowds and rejecting personal and community protection, but more often, I cry that people are so anxious they’re willing to deny reality. I hear them laughing together on the trail and wonder if they’re robbing themselves of laughing together in a few weeks, or months. Next summer. Ever.

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We are spiritual creatures inhabiting these bodies, having, for a time, a physical experience, as Pierre Teilhard said. We are of the eternal, but here and confined, fenced-in, for a little time, if only to realize no time is little at all; every moment is precious. However it comes wrapped, it’s gift, and needs to be filled with as much kindness, hope, and love as we can cram into it.

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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

The Space Between

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Crisis, a tipping point
like lightning,
strikes and divides
what wisdom may bind,
beyond words
(in the space between) if
we choose, and choose,
and choose climbing, descending
into the tangled forest of
no and yes.

Or we could reject
aching discernment,
take
solace
in the withered arms of
scorched earth, accept
paths known, every step, eyes closed,
taking up with all the old evil,
abandon struggle and what
may lie beyond, remain rigid,
lying
on the angle of
repose.

Hanging together, falling apart,
in the middle, in the balance,
neither here nor there,
having left and not arrived,
farewells spoken, greetings awaited…
walking with questions, eating questions, sleeping
not sleeping with questions
(in the space between) nothing
and all, after lightning
before thunder.

Our home is on fire;
let it burn. We knew
there was no returning.

Trees split and charred
may grow again, but
surprising and primal…
scarified and sacred,
the only way
some seeds can grow.

Let us try. Not for paradise
but for gratitude now
(in the space between).

Here, in the infant
forest, while the gift
of days
deepens our listening
nurses new visions
tender and green
(in the space between)

We’ll take the broken
parts, the ashes and death,
the questions and loss,
tilling in our soft dreams and
spreading wide the
fans of fertile hope
like stars at our feet.

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© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

Hard Times

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You thought you’d done it, a life of
dodging disaster, agile avoidance of
incoming shrapnel, feasible flattening,
historical losses, holocausts, hard times,
great wars, dust bowls…you’d lived
that one spared slice of the world’s story, oh charmed
tranche de vie! Oh pockets bulging with luck!
(Well there are always wars, but
you in the years between, untouched, only the
proud protests, marching out your anger,
cozy coalition crowds, well-fed, drinks in hand,
you fought from your armchair, through words
stinging and admired.)

Deaths, yes, heartaches, and the surprising grief they disperse–
we’re speaking of life on earth, after all–perhaps
you even heard the invitations to deepen, to be
grateful for the easy life unearned, enjoyed,
the shaded colors of loss
now a poignant part
of the design. Looking good
in black.

But nothing like this,
not the bobbing and weaving
dance with invisible
poison, hidden and clinging to
every bit of air you breathe, you
no longer young, unpracticed
in fleeing enemies, fearful,
searching for words.

You thought you’d done it,
finish line in sight, you’d
escaped, unscathed,
the cruel brutality of
life that everyone
who’s walked the earth
and lies beneath it
has suffered.

And even now:
fresh cream in your coffee
as you ponder
your life’s
hardest time.

Only This

Willow Art

There is only this:
The breath of the dog on the bed and the breath of the dog in the living room,
the settling of cats,
the scrambling of the squirrel along the deck’s railing—
he, too, forages for seed and meaning.

There is this, too: the flow of the river,
the crow on the crooked branch,
the chiming of pipes in the wind,
the waves of the wind,
the insistence of the wind that we be more than we are,
that we are more than we believe,
that now is the god we seek;

we, poised and ready to breathe in the holy, the fact
that there is only this,
and breathe out the yes that allows the now,
and the love of now,
to marry.

 

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

Near Death Awareness

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It could begin long before
the diagnosis announced
the time for farewell had come,
but the awareness
deepened and clarified
as death (as love) drew nearer. I watched

and listened. 

Many patients
experienced sifting, in thought,
shifting, in language,
lifting, in dreams of sweet reunions
beyond, a light-filled world…I held
their new mysteries and old regrets
in my watching and listening.

They saw angels, parents, long-dead partners
spoke, laughed, lingered with visions
I could not see.
The liminal glowed, golden and
Everywhere. I watched

and listened. 

My job was simply presence, not
an anchor in this world, but often
a final, gentle harbor of peace
before they said yes
to the sweetly tinkling lanyards, the
voices of beloveds
beckoning their buoyancy
on waves of love (as death)
that would carry them off.

Death (as love)
befriended them, or tried to,
sang beneath their windows,
beside their beds,
holding them, embracing,
sharing their breath as it slowed…
She infused their psyches
caught their words and tangled them,
unraveled them, then wove them again
into tapestries of symbol and metaphor.

I would ask:
How is it for you? What do you see?
They chose words they’d rarely used,
or hadn’t intended but meant;
surprising,
how deeply, unconsciously,
intuition can reach in and excavate
truth: 

I am going on a journey,
packing my suitcase;
Where is my ticket? My taxi? My train?
I must wear my best dress; Joe’s coming
to dance with me; I must go
to the garden, it’s harvest time;
I’m leaving soon…
I watched

and listened.

And their elemental essence would ebb,
would almost shimmer away, blood pooling
around the heart, breath slowing,
spirit slipping out and rising
free of gravity, then gone
with love (as death).

I watched and listened.

The air, filled with
the scent of parting:
gratitude, forgiveness, regret,
stillness,
a terrible and fierce
absence that, once felt,
became light.

Death is love; it is handmaiden to life.

And now we sit
at the bedside of the world,
aware, long before the diagnosis
was announced,
the time for farewell
has come for many things.

Let us watch together,
surrender what must die,
and listen
for the language
death (as love) will weave,
a tapestry,
symbols and metaphors,
a light-filled world
not beyond
but here.

Death (as love) is near and,
always, handmaiden
to life.

 

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