In the flames

I lived in Minneapolis for 30 years before moving to a smaller town. The fires there last night were in my old neighborhood of many years. Though I’m not there any longer, I still felt the sadness, grief, and anger. At the mindfulness group this afternoon, several of us there had lived for years in the city, so though we’re 45 miles away it still felt close, and the sadness hung heavy. We talked of giving that grief space, seeing things as they are, not letting the lies that others tell become the truth, and trusting both the truth and ourselves. And then talked more about the sadness. And then this exercise arose out of our words and grief.

Standing at the threshold

from I Am Waiting
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am waiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

We talked at mindfulness group this week about the difficulty of waiting, of the uncertainty of being “in-between,” standing at the threshold waiting for the door to open. Here is a meditation for this time of waiting, as we start to step back gingerly into the world.