It’s raining.  My cat Bella and I are together on the couch watching the rain, listening.  It’s enough, breath like a bellows moving in and out.

Though flights have been cancelled, our plan is to fly from SFO to JFK tomorrow morning.  This time we fly for a wedding, not a memorial, as we did two weeks ago, and yet, the lift for me is fragile. I feel the weight of grief even as I balance on the coming together of two people in marriage, commitment, love, and trust.

As I receive compliments on “Airing Out the Fairy Tale”, I remember back.

About six months after I returned home from Nepal, I received an airmail envelope, weight of a feather, from Kathmandu, with a poem from Sonam, the sixteen year old son of the Sherpa who led us on the trek in Nepal.

“Mountain can’t fly,

We can die.

I waiting to you.

You must try.”

At the time, I knew it was impossible to return, and I sit with that now, as I’m heavy with grief, yet knowing renewal is at hand with each breath.

When my mother passed, I wrote this poem.  

Lungs


Two leaves on our chest

Sweeping grief with every breath.

Lungs and breath

Later I wrote:  

There’s nothing binary in grief,

No on-off switch, no separation of yin and yang,

Good and evil, male and female, punishment and revenge,

Joy and sorrow.

Grief holds all.  

I sit with this now as I consider what it is to get on a plane, the magic and majesty of flying from one place to another, one group of friends to another, while still being true to the organism harvesting beats, trusting rhythm and reverberations inside and out.  Petals unfold for sun and for rain, knowing the skin-filled caress and blossom of dew.

A rose in my garden

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