“To be fully alive, fully human and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.
“To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ” ~ Pema Chodron
close your eyes and picture an orange.
This is meant to focus the mind
slow down the hamster wheel that is my brain
reduce its chattering to a whisper.
But there behind the dark of my eyelids
and the quiet rush of my breath
my orange glows like a harvest moon.
It is the orange of a monk’s robe
it is the bounding recoil of a rubber ball
the sweet freeze of sherbet on the tongue.
Eyes closed, I am peeling the orange
I am feeling its skin tear softly
tasting its sudden sharp juice: I have never
seen an orange so beautiful
nor brought such a lovely color to my lips:
the color of prayer
the color of desire
the color of a fist raised in celebration.
But this is not why I am here
this fierce joy that translates as pain
stinging fresh and hot against my eyelids
nor the sudden vision of a face I’ve tried to forget
how he smiled with his whole being
and how I lit up for that, my heart a harvest moon.
No, I am here to let go
I am here to breathe
I am here to be here.
So let it be.
Look back into the eyes of the dark
and let the colors go
give up the fruit with its violent goodness
give up my love
hunger fear pain joy need want belief
all the names I call myself
and when they are gone there is only
breath and a beating heart
so big it strains my ribs.
now let the orange go
and I open my hand and it goes.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Chrissy Tustison / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: via Flickr