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“The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.”

–Allen Ginsberg, “Song”

 


Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don’t mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, “It’s hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there’s no one
to say what a good job you’re doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache.”
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.

There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world’s heart.
There is no other art.

~ Alison Luterman, “Invisible Work” (The Largest Possible Life)

 

 

‘If we are afraid of being alone, afraid of silence, it is perhaps
because of our secret despair of inner reconciliation. If we have no
hope of being at peace with ourselves in our own personal loneliness and
silence, we will never be able to face ourselves at all: we will keep
running and never stop.”

Thomas Merton(LOVE AND LIVING, page 41)

 

Not going naked, nor matted hair, nor filth,
nor fasting, not sleeping on bare earth,
no penance on heels, nor sweat nor grime
can purify a mortal still overcome by doubt.

The Dhammapada


Mother I’m tired
Come surrender my son
Time has ravaged on my soul
No plans to leave but still I go

Fallin’ with the leaves
Fallin’ out of sleep
To the last goodbyes
Who cares why?

Mother I’ve tried
Wasting my life
I haven’t given up, I lie
To make you so proud in my eyes

Fallin’ out of sleep
Crawlin’ over me
To the last goodbyes
Who cares why?

Tuesdays come and gone
Restless i still drive
Try to leave it all behind

Fallin’, fallin’ out of sleep
Fallin’, fallin’ with the leaves
I go crawlin’, crawlin’ over me

Once upon a time in my life…
I went falling…

Mother I hope you know
That I miss you so
Time has ravaged on my soul
To wipe a mothers tears grown cold

William Corgan (“Once Upon A Time“)

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