Friday, September 12, 2014

13 Years Later
























The House of Belonging by David Whyte (excerpt)


I know this house,
and this horizon,
and this world I have made.
I know this silence
and the particular treasures
and terrors
of this belonging
but I cannot know the world
to which I am going.

I have only this breath
and this presence
for my wings
and they carry me
in my body
whatever I do
from one hushed moment
to another.

I know my innocence
and I know my unknowing
but for all my successes
I go through life
like a blind child
who cannot see,
arms outstretched
trying to put together
a world.

And the world
works on my behalf
catching me in its arms
when I go too far.

I don’t know what
I could have done
to have earned such faith.

But what of all the others
and the bitter lovers
and the ones who were not held?

Life turns like a slow river
and suddenly you are there
at the edge of the water
with all the rest
and the fire carries the
feast and the laughter
and in the darkness
away from the fire
the unspoken griefs
that still
make togetherness
but then

just as suddenly
it has become a fireless
friendless
night again
and you find yourself alone
and you must speak to the stars
or the rain-filled clouds
or anything at hand
to find your place.

When you are alone
you must do anything
to believe
and when you are
abandoned
you must speak
with everything
you know
and everything you are
in order
to belong.

If I have no one to turn to
I must claim my aloneness.

If I cannot speak
I must reclaim the prison
of my body.
 
If I have only darkness
I must claim the night.

And then,
even in the closest dark
the world
can find me

and if I have honor
enough
for the place in which it finds me
I will know
it is speaking to me
and where I must go...

And though all the things I love
may pass away and
the great family of things and people
I have made around me
will see me go,
I feel them living in me
like a great gathering
ready to reach a greater home.

When one thing dies all things
die together, and must live again
in a different way,
when one thing
is missing everything is missing,
and must be found again
in a new whole
and everything wants to be complete,
everything wants to go home
and the geese traveling south
are like the shadow of my breath
flying into the darkness
on great heart-beats
to an unknown land where I belong."


It's 13 years later and still feels like it all happened yesterday.  It's still that vivid, so I avoid the news and the tributes on this day.  It was a day that pulled the rug out from under me.  My sense of safety shattered with every window.  My sense of truth that was once so big and strong deformed into an indistinguishable twisted mass of debris.   My sense of trust consumed in the flames I saw them jump from.  My most solid parts of myself were reduced to a strange grey dust.

I still hear that sound of lives ending.
It haunts me.
I don't blame them for jumping.
I don't blame them for my nightmares.
I understand that they would have died either way.
That.
I understand that.

The lucky fact that I'm still here to live - yes - and then the realization that I have come this far only to find myself with a 9/11 of a different sort to cope with.  SO different, and yet the suffer is so striking in it's sameness.  And just like 13 years ago, I didn't see it coming. 

Be grateful for whatever comes, I tell myself.
Be grateful for whatever comes.

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