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.”

not a poem

I am not a poet. When I was young and when I was younger than I am now, I did not even have the patience to read poetry. Too few word, too many thoughts left in breaths, too many questions in spare phrases, too much for me to unwrap. I wanted prose that left no nuance unexamined and unexplained in long wordy paragraphs. I thought I would read poetry when I was old.

And so, now I must be old. I have favorite poets. I even know a few. I cannot do what they do, but I admire their work the way I admire what painters and sculptors do. I think I understand their craft, to some small extent, because every so often, words come out of me when I sit to write, that edge closer to what poets do than what I usually scribble down.

And that happened this morning.

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