Day ? of the pandemic.

Who else has had pain today?

Who has not?

Tell me, although, like my beloveds in Nova Scotia, it seems impossible in the aftermath of such violence to be able to speak, tell me, even so.

Who continues to love, in spite of everything?

What more crucial, what more healing action is there, than to refuse to be parted from love and from the earth, and from the beauty of All-That-Is, even so?

And so… the small things… the ones that might keep us sane and connected in this mad, mad time….

The goldfinches swarmed the birdfeeder, even so.

A bunny ran for shelter under the wild rose bushes, and found it, in spite of everything.

A friend and I talked about how we could hold those-we-care-about close, and care for them, in the midst of broken hearts and broken lives, and we made a plan, even so.

Someone I love is living the experience of a harsh disease, and he trusted me to hold him close (virtually) today, in spite of everything.

Mr. Chatterbox I was in need of a conversation and, as the sun set,  a crow chatted with me from a low branch, even so.

Plus, a  poem found me today. It took my breath away hope you don’t mind if I share it…

In the Abbot’s Cell
by Du Fu,  712 – 770
translated by David Young
I lie awake and watch
the flicker of the lamp
delicate odor of incense
helps to clear my thoughts
mostly filled with darkness
the central hall looms large
sound of a wind chime
tinkling below the eaves
The flowers just outside
are all invisible
but I can smell their fragrance
here in the quiet dark
one of the constellations
is setting behind the roof
passing the iron phoenix
fixed at the temple’s peak
Pretty soon the monks
will start to chant their sutras
the bell calls them to prayer
I stay in bed
before very long I’ll have to rise
and walk across plowed fields
facing the dust and wind
facing my fears and griefs.
So, yes, we wake, as the poet did a thousand years ago or more, and we prepare ourselves for the day. In this pandemic time; we recognize the beauty, and then we, abbots of our interior monasteries, accept the beauty and the burden, and we are grateful, in spite of everything.

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