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Five thousand days is thirteen years
Five thousand birds cover the square of the sky
Five thousand dollars will buy you a car
Five thousand square feet of house
Tiptoed on eggshells scattered about
Toes tortured, knees scabbed so hard
A remaining lifetime of new skin growing will not make them whole.
Five thousand square feet of chasing
And losing every time.
Unheard, misunderstood, forgotten,
Like a thing left behind but not that important to return for,
Not worth making the trip.
Each foot washed clean with tears of regret,
What could have been but never was.
I would like less square footage and softer falls from now on
Cushioned with kindness for this little girl
So used to soothing herself.
In the instances of domestic abuse, emotional or physical, manipulative relationships, I wonder who is the weak one. Traditionally, the one that’s being abused would be considered the weak one, as she cannot stand up for herself, is trapped, is unable to find a way to get out and release the chains of the abuser. And yet, she is also the one who finds the strength to get up every day and dress the kids and get them ready for school, and act like everything is normal, and cover for the abuser in front of the children so they would not think poorly of the father, cover for the abuser in front of her family, and his family too, as she feels this is something she needs to work out on her own and does not want to be a burden on others. She puts her makeup on and covers the darkness with concealer, she lines her sad beautiful eyes, and gets in her car and drives herself to work where she must be normal so she can hold it together and keep this job despite the pain she has inside, she is the one that tries to smile and make his coffee and his eggs just the way he likes them, because maybe now it will be different, maybe now he will get her and really change this time, and remember the one he fell in love with, and never ever hurt her again , maybe? And then the abuser, a she or a he, a coward who is not able to face his or her own demons, who is using the trust and confidence of his partner to compensate for his or her own deficiencies, for her or his not having enough, not being enough, a bad day, a rough childhood, inability for introspection and lack of self awareness… Who is the weak one here, tell me.
If a bird had a job would it be to sing?Would she worry about showing up on time?
And doing it right?
Or does she know that she already is
On time and right
And that this is the way
And there is no need
For wondering why.
What’s time but a shadow!
What’s silence but noise muted by space?
How wide can I scream, how fast can I stand?
Reflections of births already so south
Forgotten kisses alive in my mouth
Melted sugar cubes of square beginnings
And now tea. Clear and gone like nothing was there.
Grateful for morning silence filled with all the thoughts and sounds of the weary
Grateful for my dog leading humbly down the leaf peppered path
Grateful for this solitude that graduates in oneness
Grateful for faded tombstone reminders of how the mansions of our present will look a thousand years from now
Bring me black bread
Bring me white bread
Just don’t bring me burnt bread
I asked of the ladybug
What went wrong?
I’m a Tutsi in the marsh
My palms are white and the lines are black
My sun looks just like I drew it
When I was four years old
Myths of happiness.
Ah, but did you know the rain does not know that it is rain? And that the birds do not know that they are birds? And where does the rain end and the birds begin? And my pain, is it really mine? Does it have the beginning? The end?
From “Kabbalah, a Love Story” by Rabbi Kushner, “we have a word for leaf, twig, branch, trunk, roots. The words make it easier for us to categorize and comprehend reality. But we must not think that just because we have words for all parts of a tree, a tree really has all those parts. The leaf does not know, for instance, when it stops being a leaf and becomes a twig. And the trunk is not aware that it has stopped being a trunk and has become the roots. Indeed, the roots do not know when they stop being roots and become soil, nor the soil the moisture, not the moisture the atmosphere, not the atmosphere the sunlight. All our names are arbitrarily superimposed on what is, in truth, the seamless unity of all being”.
Once in a while, you read something so precious, so delicious, so inspiring, that you must share it with others. As I watch this gorgeous morning take hold outside my window, I feel the breeze enter my breathing passages and caress my skin, the birdsongs echo each other in the tippy tops of the trees, the rain cool and nourishing, a cacophony of joy, beauty, awakening. Grateful to give up control, to not resist, to lose over and over again, self, inside this magnificent unity.
I was watching a few health and diet related TED talks, always inspirational, but one was focused on how to live to be 100 years old. A few places around the world were visited where centennials are prevalent, and with the expected good habits of plant based foods and regular exercise as a way of life, something else came up and got me thinking. It was the way the elder generation is viewed and treated in these societies. They have the outmost highest respect and authority, and are seen not only as oracles of sorts, but as active and contributing members of their community. I grew up in Russia and I watched my mother and grandmother take care of my great-grandmother in our tiny two-room flat, where she had the best and biggest bed. I remember when they turned her to prevent the bedsores and applied green pasty medicine to the skin of her thighs. I recall feeding the tip of a teapot into her mouth so she could enjoy some warm tea. And how she responded with the kindest of eyes and words. And then everyone came over after the funeral, and I was staring at our usually empty wooden hat rack filled to the top with people’s hats of all shapes and sizes and I was shocked to have so many people at once at our home. Then my grandmother living with us until she fell ill with cancer and passed away at home here, in America, surrounded by family. And I wonder how does this change? How does this culture take the older population and puts them away? What really happens to us as we get past say 75 or 80 years old? How many old people do you see in a day? Why do they become invisible? Are they no longer active consumers (except for the pharmaceutical companies) and therefore excluded from life? Older people in this country are nearly invisible. Many are permanently residing in so called “adult communities”, cared for by strangers, I am sure with more enthusiasm in the swanky and expensive ones, and not so much in the less pricey choices. I do not claim to know the answer by any means. I also understand that individualism and independence are highly valued in this culture. But I wonder how we can include our oldest and wisest members into our lives with more respect, kindness and urgency? None of us are here to stay, and the older we get, the less time we potentially have, and the more wisdom and knowledge we have to offer and share with younger generations. And being around family, kids, those that love and adore us keeps us healthy and alive, gives our daily routines a meaning, a sense to go on, proceed and look forward to tomorrow.