Updated: Oct 10, 2022
My high-school English teacher, Mrs. Jacobsen, once wrote a poem for me. It began: "No b
g meteor I Whose beauty Dooms a fall to the earth" It was this kind of prophesying poetry of my future. It was basically saying "I see you" in a way that was meant to seep through the inevitable isolation of the way that I am. I remember at the time feeling curious and not-relating - she was in her late 50's or early 60's and I was barely 16. I think she was writing a poem to me for when I got to be older, so I'd have these words she'd somehow crafted into a time capsule that had a little red handle dangling from the side with tiny, tiny script that said "in case of emergency, PULL" and the entire piece of poemed paper would turn into a life-raft. I lost the poem some decades ago but this morning I pulled the handle. There is something so strange about time and connection and the joy that descends with you as you fall through the cracks of this world. We are riddled with stories of changing our fate - that we create and choose in ways that naively ignore an ancient weaving. Some of us live patterns we are better off accepting, not in resignation, but so that we can put what energy we have into WHAT IS rather than fighting against it. This includes the fact that in modern society interdependence is anathema so those of us still embodied enough to benefit from it are gonna...struggle. I'm grateful my joy has come with me down the cracks I have fallen through. I'm grateful a teacher in a school I went to saw me enough to send me connection in a poem that turned into a life raft.
Poems do that in a way nothing else can. At least, for my soul. This morning I watch the fog hover over the tips of the blueberry field and feel the familiar melancholy that sings in the cracks. I am blessed to have met enough people who also live in the cracks to not imagine I am somehow truly alone here.
One day I will have my own home and will build it so far away from the noise of this place that I can sleep deeply and dream a world where cities are built on the earth instead of stilts so all beings can exist together with no cracks for any of us to fall through. Then again, some of the cracks do lead to holy places if you're willing to stop looking up and bloody your fingers enough to dig the rest of the way there. Either way, it's a strange place to find oneself. Paradox is peculiar like that.