On waiting and squirming
“On waiting and squirming” was my fourth post when I began The Empty Path in 2007, nine years after I lost my South Carolina prison counseling career to right-wing politics, seven years…
This morning, our crippled elderly cat would not eat.
In recent years we’ve nursed this 16-year-old through one crisis after another, always watching him rebound to his usual, sweet, attention-demanding self. Now he’s on shots for arthritis and extensive intervertebral disc degeneration.
He gets around with a hind end that stumbles and flops. The vet says the palliative shot keeps him from feeling pain, but I imagine that he is doing more physical damage every time he moves—especially when he…
There is nothing in this moment
Nothing to guide me,
Nothing to hinder me.
Those are all thoughts and feelings
that rise and fall.
They come from nowhere
previous thoughts and feelings.
Yes, there is sensation and emotion,
the brain’s tools for
So difficult to sit doing nothing
unless enforced by the presence of others.
Alone, I want to be busy every moment.
What makes me uneasy with stillness?
I’m not doing anything!
You are breathing, pumping blood.
Holding down the chair.
No. That word
came from elsewhere than cleverness.
That word is
closer to the bones.
I’ve not tried before to retrace in memory how my poems come into being. Yesterday a close friend’s response to “Fixed” move me to do so.
This poem came to me, as most of them do, in much the same way that spoken ministry messages come to me during Quaker waiting worship. I am inspired by something, perhaps something very minor, that crosses my awareness, and suddenly there is an image or word or phrase.
My usual morning practice…