It Is All Borrowed

I got a ride with Ernie
A driver of Spanish origin
In New Mexico
He recently lost his son
And previously his daughter
He had a beautiful attitude to life
Taught to him by his grandmother
She told all the children
‘Nothing here is yours
It’s all borrowed
And it will all have to be given back
We arrive empty and we leave empty
Remember this always.’

This elder teaching has allowed Ernie
To stay true even in the midst
Of emotional pain and suffering
And has brought him to great equanimity
He was free to love without attachment

It was quite a ride.

Even in this that seems so broken

When did it all change
When did you start to feel so heavy
Weighed down by it all
Lost in seriousness
Scared for your life
Or scared for the world

When did you become
So scared of the world

When did you start to see
More problems than solutions
When did the shine vanish
Rubbed off by years of experience

You lost your joy
Your carefree ways
That innocence you had
It dissolved into this
Like everyone else

When was it you picked up
Those heavy bags
Filled with woes, troubles, beliefs, fears
Most of which never come true

When
And why?

And what will it take to drop
All these worries

I beseech thee
Let us sit in the chaos
In the futility, in the storm
And simply sit, tears of sorrow
Rolling down, weeping for our lives
And the lives of those gone
Crying for time slipped away
Missed moments
Broken dreams
Lives torn apart

Let us just sit like this
And meet each other here
Eye to eye
Heart to heart
Nothing to say
We will meet in this silence

And it will show us
That love is still here
Even in this
Even in this that seems so broken.

Silent Emptiness

Last night I fell in a hole
It just got deeper and deeper
There was no way out
And suddenly I was faced with a choice

Either keep on struggling
Or surrender the fight
What a dilemma…

If I struggled on
It would be pointless
But at least there was hope
Even if it was illusory
There was some reason to keep going
However desperate

If I surrendered maybe it was resignation
I would have to stop running
And face the horror
The pain, the sorrow, the truth
Who would I be if I gave up completely?
I would be entirely alone

Realizing the futility of struggling
I surrendered the fighter to the darkness
Oh did I fall!
As though into eternity
Seeing the ground disappear as I dropped
Deeper and deeper
I left myself behind
I left everything known
Somewhere up above

And I came upon emptiness
A profound silence overwhelmed me
And in that empty silence
There was something new and different
A presence of unconditional acceptance
That filled everything, including me
It seemed to touch the very fibers of me
And I came to know myself as that
Silent emptiness

By and by, the hole, the struggle
The fear, the doubt and confusion
Dissolved

I returned to the world
Subtly, profoundly, quietly changed
Filled with gratitude and awe
For all I do not know.

Turn Towards Life

Again I wake up, heart broken open
Yet now, unable to turn away,
I am compelled to simply remain open
No fixing this, no resolution
No turning away, no righteousness

Instead, surfing the edge of this delicate web

The human experience,
Imbued with suffering, is inescapable
There is a tender agony to all existence
All form caught in the same dance

And loving deeply,
The kind of love in which you lose your self,
Comes with the inevitable finale,
A clause built in to every contract that reads,
‘This is temporary.’

But, my friend,
I would rather love with this openness
And endure the pain of existence willingly
Than turn towards denial and hatred
The suffering of hatred seems agony
And spreads like a disease

It’s not for me
So I will choose
To wake up heart broken open
Again and again and again

Don’t turn away from life
Turn towards life with arms wide open.

 

The Razor’s Edge

To walk through
The valley of darkness
With awareness
Placing one foot
Softly after the other
In tenderness and resolve
Holding fear lightly
Allowing the waves of emotion
To rise and fall
This is the razor’s edge

It is called the razor’s edge
Because it cuts through duality.

Love’s Hidden Hand

Let not age domesticate me
Or make me bitter
But let it ripen me like a fruit
Let it tenderize and soften me
So I am worthy of savoring

Let age not weaken my spirit
But make me wilder and more free
May it open my heart
And sharpen my wit

May I value time itself
And see each day as a precious jewel
Attach to nothing
But commit to peace

Let it not scare me
With it’s proximity to death
But bring depth and wisdom
May I see the beauty of others
And not their faults

And may I forgive
The human experience
Its failures, wars
And needless suffering
And instead see
Love’s hidden hand
In all actions
Even the most cruel.