Sunday, November 20, 2005



When did this sense of separation begin?

I hear a fire being stoked, which was actually a scream.

I feel the top ribs of a cello pushed into my sternum.

I remember an easel at the dinner table.

I remember the applause to a rendition of Ravel’s Tzigane.

I remember a lunchbox with coronation chicken and no crisps.

I remember wondering how I would keep blue hair a secret.

I remember a wine cellar ripening and never being in the mood to celebrate.

I remember sliding down the banister at six o’clock.

…and when will it end?

When will I stop marking out my territory like a cat on heat?

When will I be able to share a breakfast table without clenching my teeth?

When will I be able to feel as expansive in a peopled room as I do in the desert?

When, oh when, will I stop being so afraid and when will there be peace in this warring heart of mine?

I sit in the candlelight at the end of the family line. There is only me left to change this holding pattern - no child to whom I can offer a different experience nor anyone to change. I feel it. I keep breathing. I let the tears flow. I observe them....

I am not my tears, I am a breathing body and they are a river running through me.


Blogger Jean said...

I think this beautiful post defies comment! The last two paragraphs will linger for a long time in my mind.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

But you are wrong about one thing. We're all your children, and you're changing all of us.

6:54 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, Ruth. I want to say something and I'm at a loss. This is exquisite in all senses of the word. Beautiful and full of heart and so damn alive.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a child to offer a different experience doesn't necessarily make what's going on inside any easier to bear ... only giving yourself up to who you love and who loves you.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

When you can let go? When you no longer need this pattern as part of your identity? I don't know... just suggestions...

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part of letting go is, I think, accepting that certain things will always be there. Then what's there, however hard it is, can become almost beautiful. In fact through your writing, it already has.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three illusions, One Seeing

Illusion, the first:

Breakfast alone, desert expansiveness; how often we demand that which we fear most; choosing it we have the illusion of control rather than infliction.

Illusion, the second:

Standing in the river of the fullness of time, although you may choose to stand in the deep or the shallow, the swift or the slow moving water, you are powerless to choose the water that washes over your ankles.

When standing in the water, stand in the water and be wet.

Illusion, the third:

"No child to whom I can offer a different experience?!"


One child or a dozen or none -- all the same, a fools errand!

Just as one may never step into the same river twice, having selected a spot in the stream to stand -- or place a child -- that spot is gone before the thought is completed. Illusions are food for pain.

Now: Dangerous Ground, for a rude old fool unaware of the story, but still:

There is always a child who needs you; grief may yet give rise to aspiration and thus to action. Sentient beings are numberless; we vow to save them; sometimes we do this one being at a time. Not always as we planned; not always as is most comfortable; but always. Anger can become sorrow can become resolve.



I have heard it said that "words of silver and gold slide smoothly off the tongue; words of iron and stone oft times are more truthful." Please excuse a rude old man his rusty words. (Bows)

4:32 AM  
Blogger ruth said...

thank you everyone for your words, sweet, suggestive and very wise and rusty! Opening up the small places in oneself, like uncovering naked old rocks, which are raw, tough yet fragile and imperfect brings a flow of 'help' and an astonishing amount of hearing. Those rocks could be called illusions.

There is a big difference of course between knowledge and wisdom. I 'know' a lot of what you say. When it melts into wisdom and infuses my being will happen in it's own time and I can only try and be present for it.

Anyway thank YOU for being there meanwhile!

9:21 AM  
Blogger DTclarinet said...

Sometimes the healing is in the expression. Much of this feels familiar to me. Thank you for opening up and letting us feel with you.

I like the stern but thoughtful words from Ryuku. Sometimes the random lessons are the best ones.

best wishes,

7:05 AM  

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