Thursday, September 25, 2008

"the heart was strangely open"

walking home this evening with the first chill of fall on a breeze beginning to coax the turning leaves from the branches, a melancholic sweetness fills me. i experience a momentary mingling in that deep sea where laughter and tears together reside...sensing a brisk aliveness in my being as the crisp mountain air tousles my hair and simultaneously the transience of it all. no matter what, in this life, it seems that death is always a hairbreadth away. impermanence, the grand trump. absolutely no evading it and hence, a fierce invitation to live with full presence and an open heart, from moment to moment, with exactly what is. a reality that i drift to and fro again and again in consciousness. remembering seems to come most vividly in nature...through poetry...and music. the reason for this is no mystery to me.

"last night they came with news of death
not knowing what i would say.

i wanted to say,
"the green wind is running through the fields
making the grass lie flat."

i wanted to say,
"the apple blossom flakes like ash
covering the orchard wall."

i wanted to say,
"the fish float belly up in the slow stream,
stepping stones to the dead."

they asked if i would sleep that night,
i said i did not know.

for this loss i could not speak,
the tongue lay idle in a great darkness,
the heart was strangely open,
the moon had gone,
and it was then
when i said, "he is no longer here"
that the night put its arms around me
and all the white stars turned bitter with grief."

"news of death" by david whyte
from his book "where many rivers meet"

oil on canvas "autumn breeze" by jeanette james


L. Espenmiller said...

Jessa, Your writing in this piece is beautiful.

I'm feeling oddly disconnected these days. Your post feels like a reminder of something I've forgotten or a voice nudging me in the direction of my lost key.

Thank you.

Jessa said...

thank you, lisa.
i just caught up on your blog and feel incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful, fearless writer in my life. thank YOU.

river said...

dear Jessa

so agree with Lisa on this post. . .the poem and your writing is beautiful. . .perhaps the letting go has brought more space. . .and with that an experience within that is expressed with haunting beauty. . . thought of the ta pohn tree and how the orginal emerges up from the ground. . and the paradox is that it ends up preserving the ancient structure that once plowed Her down. .

jessa so often your writings linger in the deep places for me. . .thank you dear beautiful sister. . .

blessings and love dear soul

L. Espenmiller said...

And many thanks to you in return. I feel like we're bowing to each other over and over again in gratitude.

I think of you all the time when I brew my tea in my gaiwan. Making tea in this way has become such a part of me, I no longer remember the me that used to make it in an iron pot.

I had a lovely, as usual, experience at Teance a few Tuesday mornings ago. It was a perfect defense against the crumbling of the economy that had begun that week. I learned more about Pu-erh. Stocked up on their new source of 15 year - it's divine.

I look forward to tea and deep talk with you again when you return to the states.

L. Espenmiller said...

Hi Jessa,

I've tried to email you twice this week - and the messages got bounced back - the error message sounds like you closed your email account? I hope you're doing OK. If you have a new email address, would you mind sharing it with me? Thought I'd try to get in touch with you via your blog.

Jessa said...

dear lisa,

my email account closed unexpectedly (long story) and i lost ALL of my emails and addresses. ugh. i felt sick for about 15 minutes and then i felt this odd, euphoric sense of relief!! i am in the process of gathering email addresses again, so please email me at my new address so i'll have your contact info once again:
thank you for the beautiful words you wrote to me. i love how the gaiwan has changed your life! it does evoke a different energy when making tea, doesn't it? yesterday, i stumbled upon an entire street downtown daegu of tea shops filled to the brim with gorgeous, one of a kind teawares....gaiwans up the wazoo! i sure wish you could have been there with me! like kids in a candy store. love, jessa
ps. i look forward to brewing a winter steeping of dark, earthy pu-erh when we see each other again.

Jessa said...

dear marci,

thank you so much for your kind and lovely words...
i am so glad to hear from you again. i feel a wonderful sweetness knowing that some of the things i have expressed touch you deeply. thank you for your sisterhood and ever-kindness.

with warmth, jessa