Tag Archives: Emily Dickinson

Yours For the Taking

This morning, I walked away from my walker without realizing it. I did not return to it immediately. It was a bit of freedom. Why not take it?

Mine is a two-room apartment so this was not a walk for distance or duration but it was a walk with an actual gait. I focused on each step, sensing a rhythm.

Is that what a blur on an x-ray might bring? Rhythm? Is that what “teeny” fusing of donor bone with my vertebrae feels like? I’ve been here before, too aware that such a blur may be in the eye of the beholder.

A year and a half ago it seemed my neck was healing after C2-C4 fusion surgery, only to be later told later no healing was taking place. The neck is the “piece of real estate” that controls my limbs; daily, basic yoga helps me work with the signals they send me.

In all ways, this feels a matter of nerve. Do I have what it takes to believe again? Is that what hope is?  I don’t think any one thing–like an x-ray–can give me hope any more than one person can take it from me.

It is mine to give or not to take. Hope is always available. In every moment, I’m given yet another perspective on the obstacle that is my path. In this moment, it is a blur on an x-ray.

It is not a matter of “getting my life back” for this is my life, this moment right here. I don’t want to miss a moment of it. So, in the early light of this morning, I walked.

As Emily Dickinson wrote, “if your nerve deny you— go above your nerve.” It is yours for the taking.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

“Tell all the Truth” But in What Way?

hawk-3Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or Everyman be blind—

Emily Dickinson, C. 1868

How to stand in a light that reveals all and not be blinded.

I seek slivers of truth’s light. I admit my infirmity, my need for truth at a “slant,” a sliver at a time. I want all the parts to become the whole but a circuitous route is mine.

I do not want to miss the point. It is easy to do. Truth’s pure light bedazzles, a “superb surprise,” lightning-like. No feigning fearlessness here.

And you, how do you like your truth served?

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

 

Selecting Our Own Society

The Soul selects her own Society–

Then—shuts the Door—

To her divine Majority—

Present no more—ocean-pine-0215

 

Unmoved—she notes the Chariots–pausing—

At her low Gate—

Unmoved-an Emperor be kneeling

Upon her Mat–

 

I’ve known her–from an ample nation—

Choose One–

Then–close the Valves of her attention—

Like Stone—

(Emily Dickinson, c. 1862)*

This poem reminds me of America in this moment. Our commitment to the individual and our belief in self-reliance are worthy qualities. Yet, our strength is usually our Achilles’ heel.

We struggle like two individuals standing on either side of a political chasm, selecting our own society.

And in the selection, we shut the door on all else.

*(Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson’s Poems, Selection and Introduction by Thomas H. Johnson, Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1961)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page

 

Why Are We Here?

ocean-pine-0215I reason, Earth is short—

and Anguish-absolute—

And many hurt,

But, what of that? 

I reason, we could die—

The best Vitality

Cannot excel Decay,

But, what of that? we-are-everything-0413

I reason, that in Heaven—

Somehow, it will be even—

Some new Equation, given—

But, what of that?

Emily Dickinson, c. 1862 

Neither reason nor intuition fill in the blanks. As for me, it is enough to share dust with stars. Indeed, what of that?

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Pause: the Routine of All Routines

When I began the #DailyDose, I knew there would be days of pause. I decided that a year of posts–365–would be my first benchmark, no matter how many days that might take.

Hurricane Hermine was only my first pause. There are more to come, each unique in its own period of time, ever tweaking my perspective. To aim for even is a constant re-balancing act.

I may begin my day with meditation and yoga but there is one routine that supersedes all others. I call it the power of pause, that moment between the in breath and the out breath, releasing one for yet another.

The power of pause is a reach into the unknown, the quiet courage of the heart resonating throughout the body as the head constantly wonders.wondering-warrior-0313

It is that crisp, that charged this voyage in to all we are, a trusted leap from the comfort of the breath we have to the unknown, the breath yet experienced.

In-between breaths, we glimpse the spark of us. The power of pause brings forth the ego-less emotions of compassion, equanimity, loving-kindness, and joy— the very best in us.

The power of pause is available to us in every breath, our access to the compassionate response no matter the moment. It reminds that to pause is sometimes better than to run head-on into the fray.

Of course, the wave of impermanence in its inimitable and innumerable forms also helps us to pause.

It interrupts the life pace, sometimes rather abruptly. There is something we need to learn. It behooves us to be mindful. When the regular pace of life returns—be it external or internal energy— we find the familiar, a bit changed but recognizable nonetheless.

Emily Dickinson said that “To live is so startling it leaves but little room for other occupations. “

Perhaps the power of pause gives us a bit more wiggle room.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.