in early summer you start to understand
what Keats might have meant when
he wrote of the weight in his heart
like a load of immortality,
a mingling of longing, distance
and the nearness of joy, as close
as Adam’s fingers to God’s in that immense
ceiling Keats never got to see, but surely he suspected it
in the deep hours of June with green lathering over
everything, and the tall stalks of daisies swaying so close
you can almost hear inside their yellow cores;
when the red-edged peonies
can’t help but bow under
their weight of impossible beauty.
who else wonders all of the time?
inquiry for today~ and this seemingly gentle question becomes luminous….
Taking the risk to be tender can lessen our fear. Everyone has a tenderness that waits in the center of their hardness, the way the softness of an oyster waits in its shell as it drifts through the deep. When hurt, we believe the point of life is to protect that tender spot at all cost, to never expose it to an uncaring world. But against our will and in spite of our fear, we can discover, in a moment when we drop all that we carry, that it feels quite wonderful to carry nothing. Then we might wonder why we should pick it all up. Then, we might be lifted by a sudden revelation that it’s the other way around, We need to pry ourselves open and let the tenderness we were born with meet the world. We must risk being tender if we want to truly live. Tenderness keeps us from running. It opens us more deeply to where we are. By staying tender, life has become a practice of opening what’s before me rather than running to where I imagine life is easier.
Yet, not matter how tender or grateful we are, each of us will be broken open at some point in our life. Thought this will intensify our fear, how we meet being broken open begins a deeper phase of our spiritual journey. In spite of our fear, in spite of whether we feel safe or threatened, when we love one thing, we begin to love everything. For love is not confined to what we love, anymore than light is confined to the first thing it illuminates. Sometimes courage is not defending what we know to be true, but letting in all that is beyond our understanding. Our trust in life returns when we can stay in conversation with the larger flow of wonder and impermanence in which or life swims.