whatever your dance of life looks like (audio poetry 4:00)

Tanzerin Dancer, Paul Klee, 1932

Consider this a half-time break in the posting of 26 inspirational nuggets from “Be Ready for the Wonderful: Words of Well-Being to Ease Your Way Through Change.” I’ll resume that in a day or two.

This poetry originally appeared two years ago, with a different title (“what it looks like”), different audio, and different art. It seems quite right for the times.

whatever your dance of life looks like

It looks like nothing, this untrammeled everything
It looks like yesterday and tomorrow and today,
This infinite emptiness
This looking at the sun through bosomy clouds parked at the curb
wearing yellow boots of steel
This staring into the darkness and sensing that no one, no thing
Is available to meet your gaze,
This moment you believe you occupy,
It looks like someone else wants to move in,
But it looks like you may not yet be cleared for takeoff.

This gnawing, clawing becoming feels impatient
Like impulse without thrust,
Like sucking on fingers bloodied and torn from abrading granite cliffs
that lead to higher realms
It reeks of the backbreaking work of yoked and burdened beasts,
Of naked travelers pressing on through ground-quaking upheaval
This sitting, this feeling, this waiting and wanting but not striving
This cracking and shuffling, pause and stop and restart, pause again,
Swans paddle frantically underwater while gliding atop a tranquil pond
Polar bears, in search of food, have lost their way home
Beached whales offer final prayers to a grieving Mother
It looks like death, this eternal life.

It looks like love
This deep, clanging absence of what we believe love looks like
This reverberation across time and space and intergalactic wormholes
Like gravity run amok, tall rain walking,
These endings, nothing more than beginnings without end
These beginnings, dominos rippling across the unveiled fabric of existence
Tears meet and mingle, morph amid laughter’s crescendo,
More arms are opening to a wider embrace
Unleashed hearts step lightly to angelsong
It’s okay to trip, to slip, to two-step, to tango,
Whatever your dance of life looks like, it looks good on you.

There is no shame in considering that the slumbering human brain is still preparing,
That there are yet mysteries we can neither unravel nor understand
And if we did, mystery’s attendant joy would elude us forevermore,
If it looks like you may not attain omnipotence this time around
It may look like disappointment, as though the finish line was never reached
and you missed the unfolding scenery along the way,
forgot to open your mouth and drink in the sweet nectar of Divinity
slipping onto your tongue.

It looks like surrender, like exaltation
Like looking over your shoulder one last time
Turning into a pillar of light and declaring the past done once and for all,
Whatever your dance of life looks like
What matters is that it looks like you.

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