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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Transcendent Tango

In recognition of the close of Poetry Month I have revised an old poem I wrote. I'm dedicating it to April, a pretty month, honoring her devotion to hope, awakenings, and vibrant new beginnings.

Transcendent Tango

The sky is a moody companion
driving calm white billows
into foamy currents over blue
piercing thunderous cliffs
with jagged lines of silver
and sending the sun into exile.

I skip.
Not really.
But I have the mind to
for the wind has revived the fallen leaves
who thought their days had ended,
yet now believe themselves to be graceful birds,
with preened feathers
and focused beaks
slicing through the air like winged messengers
eager to tell the tales of love.

I long to keep up with them.
But no.
I reserve my energy
and watch
as my quickened spirit takes flight
twirling with the resurrection.

All are present
yet there are no witnesses
to this transcendent tango
bequeathed by wasted poets
teased by passion's hallowed flames.

Dip me my immortal
kiss the white line of my neck.
Visit me
till evening bows in sated surrender
and morning sings anew.

Leah Griffith

An April offering.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Transitions, Shifts, and Bed-Ins

For the last few months I’ve been enjoying a morning routine of slow awakenings—opening my eyes gradually then pushing myself into an upright position, propping a wall of warm pillows behind my back—viewing the day as a patient would from a sick bed, although I’m not sick at all, but rather in a place of transitions and ponderings. I wonder if our transitions should be allowed the same pampering offered to the sick, after all, transitions require quite a bit of adjustment and mettle. Actually failure to transition smoothly often results in all manner of ailments and mental collapses.

This winter I decided to make some changes, in order to help myself adjust to other changes, by staging a bed-in (sort of like John and Yoko’s) only with mine lasting just an hour or two each morning. Normally by springtime I would have headed out to the lanai to sit with the sunrise, and I have done that a few times, but this year most mornings beckon me back inside to gather and fluff—lingering in the nest with my coffee, cushioned by a drowsy gentleness with no sharp corners to navigate.

What is this transitioning? What does it matter, for life is a dedicated series of changes and shifts teaching us the freedom of detachment and the wisdom of uncertainty…over and over again. Each of us must faceoff with the great illusion of permanency and control—that tug-o-war between deity and flesh, and finally come to a place of surrender, where we discover the contented flow of life.

I used to leap from bed with the boldness of a bullet, but lately I’m not so daring. It’s been a bumpy year and I’ve seen what a day can do, so I solicit Divinity’s help before my bare feet have a chance to hit the cold tile floor, beginning my day with an hour of reading from an eclectic selection of inspirational writings (It’s amazing how a well-ordered dose of words can secure a shaky soul,) and then I take an amateurish stab at meditation, ending with a meaningful exchange with Spirit. After this, depending on the day, I laze for a little while and write…or simply be.

I’ve found bed to be a sensible place to transition, but it’s also great for other things, like engaging in intimate phone chats with best friends, doing my nails, not to mention escaping the world altogether by watching several episodes of Downton Abbey. I can pay my bills from bed; write a review, text a friend, exercise (leg lifts, crunches, and the subtle, but all important, kegel exercises), or invite family members in. As a matter of fact if I’m not careful I could easily become addicted to living in bed.

One day last month I stayed in bed till 2pm. My oldest daughter had slept over and in the morning she crawled in with me where we spent half the day chatting, playing with the dogs (I have very small dogs) photo’ing the dogs playing together, photo’ing each other’s morning faces, eating, leaning into each other tee-pee style while watching a movie on my 7” tablet—experiencing routine activities with great novelty from the perspective of our little nest.

I like the fact that I can go straight from bed to the shower without having to put on “morning clothes”. Morning clothes are the things I grab to keep myself covered while I do my morning routine; they are usually dirty, mismatched or ripped. If I stay in bed long enough I can eliminate the need for morning clothes and go directly from sleepwear (a wife-beater and undies) to daywear—properly cleaned and coordinated outfits with shoes and accessories.

Another benefit of hopping back into bed is that I don’t have to answer the door. “I was in bed.” Is always a legitimate reason for avoiding early morning visits from wide-eyed neighbors. Of course they may judge me as lazy, but who gives a chit. It’s my life.

Why the change? Like I said, I’m accommodating a transition. My life has shifted—and it is speaking to me. I need to listen. I need to marinate in the things that really matter in order to hear and see beyond the glaring illusions of fear and lack, which our world so steadily promotes. I’ve discovered that the things, which scream the loudest, are very often not real at all, but clever distractions drawing my attention away from the things that genuinely require my care. So, I’m doing this because I need it, and because I deserve this special time of catching up with myself. Who knows how long my schedule will allow for these easy mornings, so I intend to luxuriate in them like a hot bubble bath…until the last bubble pops and the bathwater grows cold.