Sometimes, presence rises out of absence. I think of how absent my father was for much of my adult life and now he’s so present to me after his death. Our closest moments overcame us in the years approaching his death. It was there on the edge between his great presence of life and the great absence of death that we were most real with each other.
In the depth of our heart, where what matters defies separation, presence and absence are one. In the depths of any one feeling, we’re led to the unnameable sum and source of all feeling. Grief is a great teacher of this. Losing both my father and Mira in the same year, I fell into the turbulence of grief, where I was tossed in the cool drift of absence away from the world. And feeling the depths of their absence strangely opened me to this unnameable place where all things exist at once. Exhausted by my struggle to sort these extreme feelings, I settled into humbling receiving them, which led to this poem
Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the ferm is as delicate
as the fibres of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the enxt song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness the exits inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.
Every poem appears like a beam of light that calls for me to follow it into the open. Once there, I’m always surprised the way a tired seeker. winded by the climb is stalled by the sudden vies. The sudden view at the end of every poem is the unexpected teacher, the reward for following our feelings into the open
Extract from : At Centre of Every Feeling pp 219 – 220
The One Life We’re Given : Finding the Wisdom that Waits in Your Heart