On Reading Bill’s Book

Monday, April 14:
On this day of the Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse, and Passover–a commemoration of the liberation of a people from slavery, of our own liberation from suffering and stuck and narrow places, into the light of a new day, into a new found freedom,  I wanted to share these with you. My cancer was discovered during the “Days of Awe” between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time of reckoning, and now, at Passover–the time of liberation– my treatment is done, I am FREE from the suffering and I want to say YES, I am free of cancer!

April 13, 2014
Sunday morning in ALBION


The huge over-stuffed green chair
Where I take my tea and contemplate
feeling like Alice, though not necessarily in wonder-land
But so small
Compared to this large soft chair that holds
My morning thoughts and still-waking bones
so easily

I read though a book of poetry and prose
written by a lovely gentle human whom I only know
because he too, is aware that dying will likely come sooner
than later
Because he too, has lived fully with a “diagnosis”
That has not stopped him from stepping forward into the dawn
Each day
Or looking up to the moon, however shrouded by clouds or trees or buildings,
And feeling her pull the tides closer
The heartstrings tighter

I am not going to die soon, I say to myself
And to others
I have many years in which to complete my tasks
Here on Earth
I have more love in my heart, which needs to be given away
I have more ceremonies to attend
Yes, I have more “work” to do
But now it is even clearer that one’s work must be filled with hope
And Spirit
that sustains us
I have songs to sing and some to compose
And perhaps I still have some painting to do, or molding of a soft clay pot
into a meaningful vessel that will take its own shape
before my very eyes
and put to the test of fire and air
will let go of its precious molecules of water
and become a thing of beauty and use
And yes, I have more dying to attend to
Of others, whose time will come before mine
and for whom I will be a witness, a midwife
Hopefully a peace-full presence to help hold
their loved ones
as the taught golden threads that tie us to this web of Life, loosen
allowing Spirit
to take hold
and Body
to let go

I am here on Earth for quite a while longer,
I believe,
I tell others
But as I read poetry this morning
Waiting for the sun that always I hope will part the clouds
I too feel that fire
at the bottom of my belly
and at the same time
the lightness of being that could be lifted
Into the heavens, the sky, the ocean, the brilliant Light,
Or the vast expanse of nothingness
where it all begins


LATER in the day


I sit quietly
On the sunlit deck
In the bright green velvet meadow
Watching the flock of violet green swallows spin and dance and swoop
Flying in circles, competing for the nesting spot of safety
Iridescent feathers catching light so perfectly
to allow me to see the brilliance of color flashing before my eyes
While in the bushy grass clippings beneath the blossoming Fuji
the Flicker hunts and pecks, minding her own business,
then quietly walking from Fuji to Liquid Amber,
through grasses that hide her beauty and her ability
to fly
thinking she is unseen

The afternoon breeze gives a soft shaking to the apple leaves
And all who live here
All who have ever lived here
The fox the rabbits the bear and of course
the deer
And even yes, the mountain lion
And the humans

Are here now
Spirits dancing in warm spring air
Feeling the safety and solace

And singing in gratitude

For all that dances
For all that sings
For all that prays
For all that lives

Now and then

—Judith Redwing Keyssar

Personal Journey, Twist of Fate