Thursday, February 10, 2005

Poet's message

Surprisingly, unexpectedly, poet M called from Arizona. He writes words from the deep. Even with sometimes conflicted structures, his words contain deep messages, a gift of truth I am able to see.

He asked if I remember the words of a candle poem, which I did not (I had not read that piece before). He began to read to me. And as he read I suddenly realized I was being given a message. I grabbed my pencil and pad and started scribbling my notes.

“Be willing to lose that what you want,” he said. “What you are unwilling to lose, you cannot have.”

I couldn’t keep up with his story line; I could only take notes of what was numinous to me. Reading the notes later gave no indication how one thought was glued to another, how they all were part of the same conversation. But the disparate thoughts were my messages.

“Thoughts are tall tales. Being is the completed thought.”

There was conversation in between the noted points, but now I only have the written notes.

“What you have once perceived always is. It cannot become past tense.”

I forget what he was saying when I suddenly thought of today’s earlier sinking barge. “Don’t hold back the sinking of the ship,” I wrote.

“Find a way to forgive yourself,” I wrote, wondering how I would figure out that one.

He was talking about the candle in his poem again. “Light is what is. There is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light. And “understanding” is something that light is.”

I am never far from one of my most cognizant truths: if A equals B and B equals C, then A must equal C. I apply it frequently to many things. And in this case, darkness is the absence of understanding.

Reading it all now, I recognize the significance of thinking of the sinking barge in the middle of the poet’s words. I could see a connection. I felt myself sinking, sinking into the murk, into the darkness. And what is darkness but the absence of understanding.

But what is it that I do not understand and what is my path to discovering it?

After reading the poem and chatting with me a bit, he came to the real reason for his call. “I have a question for you,” he said. “Are you dating anyone now?” I swallowed hard to be confronted with this question today but gracefully faced it. “No,” I answered, because it is true, not because I have an interest. He continued, “Would you ever consider a long-distance relationship?” I took a deep breath and he knew my answer. I was not interested in this man ten years my junior. He withdrew the question, said he understood. He was gracious, truly accepting of my response. I appreciate him.

Typically men bring (or are) messages to me, somehow more noticeably than women. Somehow other women are me and men are messages to me. I don’t know what that means. But I am attentive to looking into the message everyone leaves behind.

I wondered about the presence of his call, the message in his question, on this particular day. There is no coincidence…

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