perhaps it is always

Sunday morning we sang Where the Light Begins (music by Susan LaBarr, text by Jan Richardson) (a pretty version to listen to here): 

“Perhaps it does not begin,
Perhaps it is always.
Perhaps it takes a lifetime

“To open our eyes,
To learn to see

“The luminous line of the map in the dark,
The vigil flame in the house of the heart,
The love so searing we can’t keep from singing,
from crying out.

“Perhaps this day the light begins,
Perhaps this day the light begins in us,
We are where the light begins.

“Perhaps it does not begin,
Perhaps it is always.”

This is one of those songs, whose melody and words pierce the heart like an arrow.  I sang it every day at home last week to learn it. Sometimes it takes me so long to learn music, but singing it every day moved me closer to meaning. And after singing it in choir amidst many voices, I carried around a lump in my throat all day.

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sweet impossible blossom

“There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.”

Parker Palmer posted these lines From Blossoms, by Li-Young Lee.

The words break me open.  I could almost feel the crack and see the light shining through. I have lived for so so long as if death paid calls and demanded I serve him tea, as if death watercolored the garden backdrop and asked for a critique.  I have grown comfortable with his presence, or at least, I have stopped fighting or fleeing from his penumbra.  

I have grown use to the absence of joy that comes from inside me.  I have manufactured joy, have siphoned off just a little joy from those engulfed in it.  It is second hand and yet, I have been grateful for the taste of it. I have needed to chase and catch it if I was to feel any of it at all.  

And then, all of a sudden, my heart is in my throat, I am prepared to tremble in anticipation, I am singing all day.

“from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.”

catching joy

Time to celebrate and throw confetti!  Cheshire and Justin are going to be married.


Two weeks ago, Cheshire’s boyfriend, Justin, came over to talk about their future.  Their future together.  It was with so much joy that I gave him the ring that was worn by Cheshire’s grandmother, Inez Sarvetnick Schanker, and after Cheshire was born, by me. Completely serendipitously, Justin came to talk to me on David’s birthday, what would have been his 65th birthday.  David’s birthday is not one of those special days that register with me but this one did as I wrote about.  Having this special conversation on David’s birthday made it sweeter still, if that was possible.

Justin proposed last Friday and his parents with Julia and I joined Justin and Cheshire for a celebratory brunch after a ferry ride on Sunday.  We are all very happy.

Planning is underway. Julia, who has discovered Pinterest, texted Cheshire a cake with bride and groom cats on the top and little paw prints going up the sides of the three layers. I am so very tickled that I will not be a long distance mother-of-the-bride.