On Friday morning, I sat down at my computer and settled into a Zoom meeting. A few minutes into the conversation, my eyes shifted up to the bulletin board above my desk and landed on a drawing my daughter made several years ago when she was about six or seven years old. The drawing has been pinned to the same spot for years, but in that moment I couldn't stop looking at it—the blue stick-figure me surrounded by hearts, the rainbow and clouds overhead, the colorful figures above the rainbow. At the top and on the bottom of the page, my daughter had written the words, "Love is your destiny!" Her message offered a sweet thought in a full day.
Two meetings later, I was rushing to leave the house and noticed my Poetry Roulette cards sitting out on my dresser. Each of the forty cards has a poem of mine on one side and artwork by my wise-woman sister, Sharon Zeugin, on the other. I decided to give myself a few minutes to play, even though it meant I might be a little late to where I was going. I picked up the cards, shuffled a bit, spread them out on the small writing desk in my bedroom (artwork side up), and pulled a card from the center of the spread. I flipped the card over and read the title, "How to Pack."
I remember writing this poem in 2018. My friend (and amazing poet) Phillip Estes had sent me a poem early one morning. His angst-filled poem ended with the phrase, "it seems there is no room left for love." In many ways, I could relate to his poem, but something in the last line compelled me to continue the thread of thought. Still in a liminal dream space, I took out my journal and the words of my poem poured out, as if I were transcribing them from somewhere beyond myself. If love is our destiny, then "How to Pack" might offer some guidance for the journey.
Wishing you moments of ease, beauty, and appreciation this week.
How to Pack
(from Within My Illusions)
When there is no room left for love,
When you have stuffed your bags so full
That the zipper moans as you close it
And the seams threaten to burst,
When the weight of obligation
Presses against your chest
And the steady beat of shoulds
And have-tos pulses in your head,
Drop all of those things you believe
To be essential and real.
Let them all go and feel
The breath in your lungs,
The breeze on your face,
This gentle embrace.
When there is no room for love, imagine
That love can squeeze through
The narrowest of cracks,
Lay roots in
A mountain of granite,
Spread across a field
Of doubt and insecurity,
Leaving a trail of
That will lead you back
To who you are.
When there is no room left for love, remember
That love occupies no space,
Requires no time,
Inhabits no place.