Okay. This post was supposed to be a continuation of yesterday’s musings about the art of preparing for something you really, really want.
About the Playground — my new baby that is not a baby, and some of the things I’m doing, working on, thinking about and imagining, in the context of creating safety for this tiny, sweet thing. And fun-brewing.
So I was writing. And at a certain point, it morphed into a poem and surprised the hell out of me.
And became the second time I’ve written an accidental poem on the blog.
There are footnotes at the end, to clear up some parts that might not make sense. And if it still doesn’t make sense, my wish is that it sets off something hopeful in you.
Start with the first circle.
Starting with the first circle.
The giant ship’s wheel on the wall.
Direction and steadiness. Setting a course. Marking a path.
A trajectory of intention. Change. Possibility.
Fortuna, the pirate ship, the chakras. The frame. Of course. It’s the frame of the Nataraj.
You can’t get away from the dance.
Then the mezuzah.
It says remember.
It says I remember.
It says wholeness. It says entry. It says you are safe.
It says with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole being-ness.
It says when you lie down and when you rise up.
It says on your gates.
It whispers safe passage in all transitions.
That’s the hamsa. A shield with an eye.
Another way in.
Eye of the storm.
Another place of stillness in chaos.
Ganesh swings from the chandelier by his elephant trunk, the god of new things and new beginnings.
Careless, carefree, sweet. Keep watch. For the moment when playful swinging reveals patterns and spirals.
A piece of memory:
My father putting a piece of the afikoman above the door to ward off evil spirits.
It keeps away the demons. That we don’t believe in.
I sound the bell. A ringing so round and complete that everything stops.
The sound rises in circles. Like a perfect tornado funnel.
Yeats in the corner, with his gyres. Scribbling furiously. Taking notes.
Then there’s that sound that comes after the sound. The other vortex. The wishing well.
When I couldn’t find my way, I asked for a sign.
Prompting lengthy and complex internal discussion.
I don’t believe in signs. But I wanted one. But I wanted to not believe in it. But I wanted it to be so clear that there was no doubt it was speaking to me. But I needed to know that the process was internal, not external. But I needed faith.
And then there it was.
The small, tilted wishing well.
The one from the drawing. The one I’d already chosen to be the sign before I knew there was going to be a sign.
A wooden bowl full of monsters.
We collect them.
So we can practice the art of not being scared by them.
We talk to them. We practice wishing them well.
And it’s back to the dance.
Spiraling movements of deconstruction and creation.
Everything comes apart apart into its essence. Every pattern into a new one.
Smashing dancing. Soothing dancing. Whirling dancing. Wishing dancing.
Bringing new unheard of things into form. Stepping right into the chaos.
Eye of the storm.
Watching the pieces coming together, re-form themselves. New air.
Disappearing into the dance of anger that is also the dance of joy that is also the dance of everything that is possible.
The most gorgeous falling apart there is.
Under the wheel.
It’s a wheel. A sign. A hand. A new beginning.
The shield. The bell.
The funnel. The well.
Guardians of the gate. Eye of the storm.
It wishes me well.
Assorted footnotes and some Useful Links:
Because it seemed kind of weird to put links in a poem but I figured there might be stuff you’d want references for.
- The pirate ship is my business and I am the Pirate Queen.
- The nataraj is dancing Shiva.
- The dance is Dance of Shiva, the cosmic dance of creation and destruction.
- A mezuzah is what we place in our entryways.
- A hamsa is an amulet for protection.
- The afikoman is the last thing you eat at the seder.
- Ganesh is a Hindu deity: lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles.
- And the monsters are everywhere we internalize criticism.
And comment zen for today.
Part of the joy of having a blog is that it’s — gott sei dank — not a literary criticism class.
So no advice on my poetry non-career, please. I’m not leaving my day job. Wait, this is my day job. Never mind.
Also: a symbol is a symbol is a symbol. A metaphor is a metaphor is a metaphor. Symbols and metaphors are not avodah zara. They are symbols and metaphors.
You’re welcome to share excitement and wonder. And to be happy for me and my Playground in our time of craziness and fun-brewing.
And if I am not the only one whose writing sometimes becomes poetry, that would be a lovely, reassuring thing to know.