What Your Dance of Life Looks Like (audio 4:00)

Venice: Night of the Festival of The Holy Redeemer, 1903, Henri-Edmond Cross

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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