Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Vase

I struggled last night, as I always do, as I spiritually occupied the liminal time of being in one place with my mind in another. I sat across the table from beautiful friends whom I wasn’t seeing because of the steady stream of thoughts focused elsewhere. “I have to remember to call mom right after midnight… Finish packing quickly so you can go to sleep… You’ll be in the airport early tomorrow… You’ll be back in California in the afternoon, do you want to go back?”

I was overwhelmed with the “yines” (yes and no), the constant conflictions felt when preparing myself to go to another home. I’ve always struggled with this. At sleep away camp in middle school I felt panic as I approached the two weeks away from home, and I wept when I had to leave Warwick to return to Nyack. I’m an absolute sap when it comes to goodbyes. A mess.

It was the generosity of a friend at 12:01AM January 1, 2011 that brought me back to the present. I was surrounded with people close to me, with whom I can reveal all facets of my personality. The Me who is smiling too much, can’t think of a joke but is laughing at everything everyone else says. The Me who is lucidly processing something at the grace of those present. The Me who is cranky as hell and letting out every cynical comment that comes to mind. It’s an amazing thing to celebrate with people who celebrate all of you and you celebrate all of them.

I am reminded of the poem “A Vase” by Rabia.

*a love poem from God

“I am always holding a priceless vase in my hands.

If you asked me about the deeper truths

of the path and I told you

the answers,

it would be like handing sacred relics to you.

But most have their hands tied

behind their


that is, most are not free of events their eyes have seen

and their ears have heard

and their bodies felt.

Most cannot focus their abilities

in the present, and

might drop what

I said.

So I’ll wait; I don’t mind waiting until

your love for all

makes luminous

the now.

*written on January 1st, 2011