Presence is Not an Idea

Sarah_Moon_CoincidencesMoving in my own spaces
Translating the silence

— Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Class. Culture shock. Homecomings and leavings.

Welcoming the Bride of Shabbat, entering that time where a second soul comes out from her shy hiding place to be vulnerable, no longer burrowed away from the busy.

Plans that take shape swiftly and plans derailed by the unexpected or uninvited guests who hitched a ride in a backpack, disrupting an already brand-new rhythm.

Resilience, breaking points, the relativity of thresholds and expectations.

Dropping anchor and how I sometimes look inside my body, scanning my sacrum for that needed weight that lends itself to gravity, which is a kind of freedom.

Fire, and the fear of fire.

The Ten Commandments, the mothers and fathers, a modern-day shtetl where you I can practically smell the bread baking a mile away.

The email I didn’t respond to, the need sometimes to delete. I could spend the rest of my life being polite and kind or I could spend the rest of my life being honest and kind.

Poems from Li-Young Lee’s new collection that stilled me to silence in the children’s area at the bookstore, but I’d rather get the book and share the poems themselves.

How the weeks and weekends to come are strung like lanterns across the field before me, or I can stretch out my arms and wiggle my fingers in the only real field there is, this one here, this one right now.

How “Hi” in the morning can be a touchstone, how life seems to blaze by, how I cried on the edge of the bed next to the mountain of laundry and how I laughed out loud because we both noticed the misspelling of “judgment” and cared.

There is no “e” in judgment. There is no love in judgment. There is no pause, no waiting to speak, in judgment. There is no Judgment Day but the one when we wear white like the angels and return.

The birds in the bare trees, always the birds, not always bare.

I’ve discovered a new playground called Pinterest.

Passion not a buzzword but something to listen for, act on, share.

A terminal diagnosis for a friend’s child, and how perspective appears everywhere, turning worries into wisdom, the wringing of hands into the ringing of bells, grateful grateful for optimism that must have deep, inexplicable roots.

How the less I manage, control, negotiate, explain, and defend, the more I move in my own spaces and translate the silence into presence.

How presence is not an idea. How ideas can ignite or deflate, and I will take one step at a time, always just one step then the next, not looking back or down, not backing down and not lunging at old opponents with the dull sword of dusty associations.

How it is Saturday and I heard the bells at St. Brigid’s clanging eight, a dozen eggs from the farm in the fridge waiting to be cracked, cooked, and eaten.

A new day. A new silence, without need of translation.

Image: Sarah Moon, from Coincidences

2 thoughts on “Presence is Not an Idea

  1. GailNHB says:

    Isn’t Pinterest addictive and beautiful and engaging and a colossal waste of time – all at the same time??? I’m hooked.

    I hate hearing about more terrible diagnoses. Illness sucks! And after I declare that, I take a few deep breaths and say a prayer for peace, healing, comfort, and presence. Because as you said, presence is not an idea. It is being there. Being here. Being true. In all our messiness and fear, doubt and misgivings, presence.



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