Friday, May 07, 2010
Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don't mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, "It's hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there's no one
to say what a good job you're doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache."
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.
There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world's heart.
There is no other art.
(The Largest Possible Life)
Because Mother's Day will soon arrive, I am posting this poem a bit early. And, indeed, there are "mothers for everything," including Ma Kundalini, mother of us all. In the poem, Alison speaks of loneliness, and many of us feel that when we enter the Kundalini path: "while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon." Indeed, we might add Kundalini folk to this last, for many of us are isolated in our practice and our unfolding experience, for there is no one to tell.
She also speaks of her labors as "healing":
"thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing"
Certainly the Kundalini path is one of healing--of ourselves and the world, for we help to "carry the vibration' that will one day lift the planet to a new state of vibrancy and health.
And the last lines are especially significant:
"The work of my heart is the work of the world's heart."
Have a lovely Mother's Day.