Be a testament

Posted by Erin on 2nd August 2010 in Erin's Thoughts

This poem has riveted me.  Lately, I’ve been finding poems, the words of others in general, reach into places in me that want to articulate themselves but my own words just can’t seem to get deep enough or to hold firmly enough to draw out.  My relationship with language is wobbly and sometimes writing hurts.

So while I am patient with that and write each day anyway, I am also motivated by that feeling when a word or phrase has the perfect resonance with the experience on the inside and it plucks at me and I quiver and hum in tune.

Here is one such poem:

Her voice’s rhythm soothes me and each little sentence is a reassurance that life is safe to live as it is.

and how do you pick a favorite part?  the music building as the words gain an intensity and courage, but stay simple and reassuring. bold and reassuring.  that’s a delicious taste to me.  but also, the last part just melts my resistance to being human that much more – to my heart it combines the ‘get over it’ my tendency to want things smooth and easy needs to hear, with an encouragement to find that message relieving instead of patronizing or impossible. and also, i feel a sense of rising in triumph as the call is both to responsibility *and* to thriving.  it’s not just ‘how to be alone’ it’s how to thrive there.

Here’s is an excerpt from the end of the poem that I transcribed (hopefully somewhat accuruately):

Society is afraid of alone though, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements.

Like people must have problems if after awhile no one is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs  or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept, perhaps in the interest of loving oneself.

Perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

Its okay if no one believes like you, all experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you. For this, be relieved – keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach.

it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, that

community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it, if you have an art that needs a practice stop neglecting it.

if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. You could be, in an instant, surrounded if you need it.

if your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

there is heat in freezing,  be a testament.

being responsible for my actions and for my life did not come to me naturally.   I have often just gone limp when something has gotten hard. And what often gets hard is what it takes to earn self-esteem, to keep an open heart and accept loss, to be humble and stand your ground – some things i’ve learned from being alone.  And while I learned well enough long enough ago that I couldn’t really build up from within living without responsibility, that tendency still wants it’s way.

And lately, that hasn’t felt good, or final, or totally true about me anymore.  When I hear it telling me about some part of my life, it’s feeble and narrow and only sees what might not be possible, how much it might hurt, how unfair it is or how i have no control so why work?  How I can’t be trusted with my own attributes.  That voice – I feel how it just hasn’t caught up – instead of letting that become the whole of my sense of myself i feel that – how it hasn’t caught up – to me.  Me who is doing things differently now.

Now,  eventually, I also hear the voice that says ‘wow, this isn’t easy, but what do we need to do and what do we need to get it done? and this is how it’s O.K.”  except it sounds like Tanya Davis.  and I can feel the thriving behind it.  Like the thriving in the words of this poem.  First, be patient.  If it doesn’t feel good at first, if it hasn’t been ok to be this way before, just wait.  Start simple. It’s about how trust is built.   and with that trust, being responsible for my experience of myself, that’s how to be a testament.

and that’s what it is for me from one moment to the next. Building my inner trust up is magic, sacred work.  Profound in it’s challenge and beauty and mess ups and triumphs…

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live. ~Goethe

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