a song familiar
on finding "the paths that lights up when I light up"
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Autumn suggestions have hit the Boston air and it’s been foggy and rainy. I for one cannot wait to see more changing leaves. I am reminded once again that our seasonal delineations are arbitrary; our lines are often wrong. They are made more wrong when we consider our global climate change crisis. This Fall is the first one in a long time that I am not attending classes. Since being in the hospital at the end of last semester, I have mourned the loss of that learning community.
I love being in a well-facilitated conversation with people who are coming together to understand something. Towards the hope of transforming themselves and the world around them. Academia is not always a place where those moments can happen, but I have been lucky. I have made colleagues and found kin among people whose hearts are drawn to singing the same songs I’ve played. Songs I’ve lived in over and over.
Isolation is no longer my song. But this is:1
Because I love myself, I am moving on the paths that lights up when I light up I will not tread where It’s ill-illuminated Everything in me that Loves breath, life and worship refuses To walk with the dim
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I know I scraped these words from the bottom of my heart to greet the cold world of algorithms and short attention spans. Confidence can fade in me in the same way, but I am learning to look at my own feet. Honoring the convictions I walk with has led me to wonderful places and people.
Here, I feel is where I land on the days when I live in my own skin with confidence and conviction:
there’s Something in today’s air asking me to pay attention Something calling me to you saying your name over and over until I am over every source of distraction left of pity are the petals I touch to gather warmth in my hands to wake up dreamer in my pen Something asks me to linger here a little longer than usual and listen to the hum of a song familiar to those who have stopped counting losses
Landing tracks are designed to take you back to your own thoughts, body, life, etc. As an educator, I’ve always loved a good critical reflection question. You are welcome to comment and discuss or leave with the answers so they may land somewhere else.
As a creator, it can be a scary thing to put your work out in the world. However, I have learned that the right community of support can ease the passage of good ideas that make their way into good work. For me, that community looks like people who not only believe in the work I do, but in the person I am. They care about me whether or not I am producing. They are the ones who I draw inspiration from. Do you have people like that around you? What practices can you shape to help you remember them and reach out to them when you are feeling stuck or burnt out?
I wrote “Something,” in this second poem because a mystic commitment for me is refusing to name what might be too easily oversimplified. The more I embrace an expansive spirituality, the more I sense the fear of people around me who may seek familiar creedal/doctrinal language in my writing. I am finding freedom in letting “love round[s] the corners” of my words.2 I write for those I wish to meet in the living room of my soul and hope my words invite them into gentle landing. Perhaps this is you. How do you experience this invitation? Perhaps something is missing for you…where do you imagine room for more expansiveness? What words feed your imagination about what it means for “love [to] round[s] the corners?”