To bear time is
to release time,
to drop in the ancient stone bowl
this bead of a spring afternoon
when I watch you, my children,
walking down the path to the outside world
like when you were toddlers,
but you are young adults now,
lithe and full-hearted before this world
we have handed you
(O I am sorry for its wounds),
stepping into the long, green afternoon
of Japanese magnolia and flowering pear.
I wonder if I will remember this moment
at the time I need it.
Mostly, I shoulder time like a weight.
My hair, silvered strands catching on branches,
body, softening, slowing;
life settled into form, function--
rootedness sparring with change
until I cannot bear
To gain a heart of wisdom, I must
number my days:
release the clock that haunts
my small self,
lusting after illusions of influence
which will decay, scatter, leave no mark
Unless I learn timelessness,
I will never glimpse
the dwelling place of generations.
How I miss them, the dead ones
who have stepped through the impassive door,
artist souls who have now escaped the errands,
grocery trips, taking out the trash,
and the slow, wrenching indignities of body diminishment,
They whisper: Look. Wait.
Here is the open place of white page
and long sunlit afternoon with nothing
but color to spill on it.
Bring anything you find,
scraps, stones, and sunbleached shells.
Come in, dwell here, you can go home
when you remember.
And the earth turns,
a fistful of carmine petals scatters from the sky
and beauty rests upon each uplifted finger,
waiting for what will come,
the next color, bold curve,
the clean heart,
then, finally, hollowed out so as to hold everything,
— Dee Dee Risher
Dee Dee is an author and editor, retreat leader, and activist. Her book, The Soulmaking Room explores how we can use grief, failure, and loss to deepen our faith journey and make us more authentic. She lives in Philadelphia at the Vine and Fig Tree community. She loves gardening, cooking, and laughing with her two crazy kids and covenant partner, Will O’Brien.
Contact: deedeerisher [at] gmail.com