Uncover the Sun

Great Measure

 

Every soul wants to breathe

in the rich round sound

of true voice

curling up inside the chest

and spilling out of the throat

like the coolest clearest water

drunk on life and love

 

Every heart wants to beat

more closely

to that first melody

that danced every babe

out the womb into the world,

singing a welcome

to be

 

Every thought wants to touch

the tune

that keeps open

wonder and hope

and putting the best song forward

into creation’s soft longing

for itself

 

Every foot wants to dance

in great measure

with the music of the world,

the essence of beauty

in rock and tree

plant and creature,

you and me

 

Uncover the Sun

Look Up

 

Look up

through tree branches

to sky patterns

of angels opening to flight

and chubby pears dancing

out of still-life bowls

and rounded clouds resembling

anything mind allows

 

Look up

through leafy possibilities

high above

any human here

and imagine

the top of your own head,

hair parted and scalp smiling

right into the sun

 

Look up

past airplane trails

and azure sky

to see every person

you have ever loved

gazing right back at you

wherever you are

right now

Uncover the Sun

Great Measure

 

Every soul wants to breathe

the air of your true voice

for the rich round sound

curling up inside your chest

and spilling out of your throat

like the coolest clearest water

drunk on life and love

 

Every heart wants to beat

more fiercely

along with that first melody

that pulled you from the womb

into the world

and made you welcome

to be

 

Every arm wants to reach

for the touch of the tune

that keeps you open

to wonder and hope

and putting your best song forward

into creation’s soft longing

for itself

 

Every foot wants to dance

in great measure

with the music of the world,

the essence of beauty

in rock and tree,

plant and creature,

you and me

 

Uncover the Sun

After Years

“It’s been two years and it’s still awful.” This from a fellow after his partner of over 35 years died. And he went on to say that people think he should, at the age of 86, “be better at getting over it by now.”

It may take years to process the trauma of losing a beloved, including the way the person died, how family members were notified, the behavior of family members, and other peripheral events. Initially, we may only be focused on the fact of death rather than the circumstances. Later, however, we may start to process how we were treated by others at the time, whether we felt like they were present for us and if we were allowed to be there for them. Given that shock tends to insulate us from reality, we might have delayed memories of events that only come to the fore years afterwards.

And those who treat us harshly or kindly during our most vulnerable moments have a huge impact. I will always remember how incredibly courageous one of my daughter’s friends was, to call me, someone he barely knew, to make sure I had been notified of her death. And her friends organized a memorial for her, helped us clean her apartment, and provided many hugs, songs, and stories to comfort us.

Mourners may believe they are through the worst of the grief, and then have it re-ignited years later from subsequent losses that bring up old traumas. Grief has a long memory. We may forget a few things, but our bodies do not. Mourning is an intense process that can impair our physical bodies and affect our mental health. Heart and throat issues, lung problems, and other ailments may be a direct result of loss that goes unacknowledged and unsupported.

I recently overheard a therapist say to a still grieving person, “But it’s been 5 years,” as if there is an expected expiration date for mourning. And that’s probably why so many of us do not grieve honestly and thoroughly. No one wants to hear that you are still sad years later, and may always be grieving in one form or another. Our friends and family members want us to be well. And everyone processes loss differently too, which may stress already shaky relationships.

There is a kind of grace that comes from honoring our losses, while still maintaining hope for the future. And that balance is the tricky part. Focusing only on grief without a break may lead to severe depression, while completely burying the grief in order to “move on,” plays havoc with our psyches. But even the most honest acknowledgement may not keep us from long term pain. Our bodies feel everything, particularly the deep ache of losing those we love most. And we have not only lost a person we loved, but also who we were with them; it feels as if a part of ourselves is gone as well.

Six years after my daughter’s death, I still have people tell me to “smile,” on days when grief is hitting me hard. I have moments of utter joy, and great sorrow. Some days my body hurts despite all of the support I receive. One bereft mom said it very well, “I still grieve deeply, but after four years I don’t share it with others as much. They really have moved on, and don’t want to hear that I haven’t, whatever the hell that means anyway. My son is gone, and I miss him every day of my life, and that’s just how it is. And sometimes no matter how much company you have, it’s a damn lonely business.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncover the Sun

Great Wealth

 

There is great wealth

in releasing

out of your life:

clothes you never wear,

unhelpful ideas,

unsatisfying work,

and unkind people

 

If you sit quietly

and feel love inside you

it will be easier to tell

what is missing around you,

what supports that inside peace

and what does not

bring you joy

 

There is great wealth

in knowing

who you are

and who you aren’t

while still

not knowing

who you may become

 

Uncover the Sun

Surprises

 

Earth surprises

in flowers

never planted

 

in love peeking out

of unexpected places

and unfamiliar faces

 

in relinquished dreams

suddenly coming

to fruition

 

in terrible losses

that simultaneously

destroy and create

 

in each day folding

into the next

like Origami

 

in bursts of freedom

knocking down walls

and opening cages

 

in the quiet pauses

between each note of life,

earth surprises

Uncover the Sun

All Things

 

Death gives this gift,

the tender ache of knowing

we hold nothing forever

 

and the beauty in longing,

the exquisite grace

where you once were

 

opens in every new laugh in the sun,

the cherishment

of flowers and friends

 

Everything dissolves into tomorrow,

re-lived by memory,

loved infinitely

 

as all things fall to ground

 

Uncover The Sun

Mother’s Day

 

The earth holds the bones

of every tree that ever held

leafy children aloft

 

and the ashes

of every human mother

that ever nursed a babe

 

and the fur of every mammal

that ever carried

their young front to back

 

and the shells of every turtle

that ever guided

offspring to the sea

 

and the skins of every reptile

that ever hatched

tiny slitherlings

 

and the feathers of every bird

that ever nested

their brood

 

the earth gently holds the bones

of every child

ever created

 

Uncover the Sun

The Gems

 

Thank you

to all of the gems

in life

 

Those that innocently

sparkle joy

at any age

 

The jewels mishandled,

but somehow

still shining

 

The unpolished natural gems

that quietly

hold no pretensions

 

The big and the bold

set in gold or platinum,

delighting in attention

 

The warm ones

that glow softly

with kindness

 

The precious ones

here for a short time,

their luster reflected in memory

 

The deep-pressed diamonds

who discover their worth

only under duress

 

The cold beauties,

harsh-edged

and full of pain

 

The clear deep stones

unwavering

in any weather

 

Every cut and color in creation,

each facet reflecting

under the sun

Uncover The Sun

Egg

 

Once, the egg of the universe

cracked wide

and spilled into clusters

of planets and stars

in space

 

And our little blue round,

if only we held it

as tenderly

as any bird ever sheltered

her unhatched brood

 

Perhaps the mothering sky

waits for the day

that our hearts crack

wide open

and we all fly