Eileen McGrath Mosher responded to my out of the blue text with word that she is expecting her third child this September.
“There’s plenty of time in this day”
Who would claim that
And risk setting off a cacophonous chorus of groans?
“There’s never enough time
To get done all the things I have to do—
never, never, never, never!”
People say it with woe
That. It’s. Always. Gonna. Be. This. Way.
Multitasking is a dead end too
Maybe I can check off those to-do’s
But what was the quality of the act?
Quality = value
There’s plenty of time
In just this moment
I write line after line
I’m not going to judge these lines
All there is to do
Is to be present
With this pen and notebook
It’s not going to benefit suffering humanity
It’s not going to earn me a cent
It’s not highly esteemed as far as Cristina’s oft-repeated New Year’s rezzes Read the rest of this entry »
Before coming to tonight’s writing class
I listened to a song from my youth
George Harrison late 1970
My Sweet Lord
I think I could go far in mettā
If I allowed that song to penetrate my life
“Incredible! Irresponsible! Delusional!”
I hear the scoffers (in my mind)
But that song is full of bhakti
Deep, ardent devotion Read the rest of this entry »
Shim-dawg (lovingly named),
My mantra this past week, “This is it,” without knowing it, consciously, it has been on your FB wall. I wondered but without a lot of curiosity what that meant to you. Here is why it has been so important to me.
I have to tell myself every minute that this is my new reality… my brain can only seem to recall it for a mere moment that this is it: This is life, this is my home, my job, my kids, my family but not as it has ever been before. It is not my dreams, my forecast, my hope, my desire.
But it is full of love, children laughing, neighbors calling, family supporting, community praying. Moments of pain so deep and literally body numbing and moments of laughter so full that my muscles ache, moments I feel the air leave my body requiring a painful deep breath as if I just broke the surface of the after after nearly drowning. This is it.
Right here, right now, it is all we have. So despite all of it, be kind, live consciously, aware of your breath, the trees CO2 exchange and your neighbors’ inhale. All of us sharing intimately this shared NOW.
This is it.
Friday 6 December 2013
Thank you for being real
In an unreal time
Is it Death breathing down your neck
Or just another terrifying episode to the ER
1/8th step forward
40 meters back
You sent me the Facebook message early this morning
And then responded throughout the day
To my text messages
Then at Sasha’s at 5 p.m.
Just as John, Cab, and I were talking
You phoned me
And told me how upset, exhausted, undone you were
Up all night and at the hospital
I felt singled out
That you would share all of that
You must know
I’ll receive and accept everything you say
Our lives converging in more ways than one
Send someone to get me
All there is
Is this (shitty) present moment
The long road ahead
Full of moments
Heart-rending and awesome
Note: Pete Mosher died the next day, Saturday 7 December 2013 in the ICU at Barnes Jewish. He was 32.
To receive a vivid piece of writing (poem, rant, trans-genre) from a friend and then get permission to share it with others who are adept at appreciation
To bike in Forest Park, run up Art Hill, aware of the ordinary miracle of lung power on a sunny day, 72 degrees
To give a friend a book I’ve loved that maybe she’ll take to heart (I Remember, by Joe Brainard, for instance)
To share daily quotations, maxims, and passages with a yogini-friend
To spend $50 on stamps at the U.S. Post Office
To hang out at a café with a friend and lose all track of time (like the August day at the Bourgeois Pig Cafe in Chicago when the lunch with Clara Takarabe lasted five hours)
To take a walk in the park and repeat my mantram, synchronizing words, steps, and breaths
To behold Joanie in the morning as she sleeps or in the evening when she tells one of her classic jokes
To receive in one afternoon’s mail a hand-written letter from Ecuador, a note on a poetry manuscript’s progress from D.C., and a postcard from Benton Park
To commence a writing class and watch the participants gradually become friends as they feed off of each others’ trust, vulnerability, and panache
To receive an embrace from one of the hemisphere’s premier huggers, Courtney Barrett
To reread a great novel, like The Brothers K., and discuss with soul-pals at Sasha’s
To sit in Sophia House living room with the sangha: silent, smiling, still
To read any sequence of syllables–text, letter, message, email–from Eileen McGrath Mosher
— originally in May 2013 notebook, updated
I recently came across this piece of correspondence from January 2006.
I hardly know what to write. I just finished your book (minutes ago) and was so moved by your beautiful remembrance of your wife. Through the pages of the book I fell in love with a woman I will never meet. I was inspired to live life now, to take the poor and marginalized into my community and to do it in my own quiet, reflective way. Your book at times made me envious of Mev’s extrovertedness, her ability to light up the room and touch so many people! Many times in my life I have wanted to be that person, but those are not my gifts, and that is OK. I can be an activist through my actions, so I don’t have to use my words. Thank you for encouraging such reflections. But I digress!
It was such a pleasure to be invited into your intimate relationship. I felt as if we have been spending numerous hours together discussing life and love. The reality of your relationship with Mev feels so familiar to mine and Peter’s. Peter is such a public figure, able to impress the group with amazing writing and speaking, but I see all sides of him and know the failings he hides from others. I can relate to your position in the relationship and felt a kindred spirit in so many ways. Thank you for this. Thank you for always making me feel as if I was a better person, more committed to justice and to the poor than I ever was. You expected more so I gave more. I will always have a little Mark sitting on my shoulder as I continue making life decisions. I fear I will disappoint at times but know that I will always remain committed in my own way to the call I have witnessed in you, and through your book in Mev. I pray that we will be friends for a long time to come.
Please pardon the Natalie Goldberg-esque writing style, but I feel less pressure to be brilliant when the pen can just keep going.
In peace, in struggling, and in love,
Died at age 32
May her memory be a blessing
Died at age 29
May his memory be a blessing
Died at age 32
May his memory be a blessing