The Shape of Today

I said, "I dreamed I was a bird eating
a couple of seeds before flying off 
to a bird bath for a sip of water."

She said, "Imagine how many persons
sat inside their homes looking out
windows upon your performance."

I said, "I should have charged admission
in exchange for the free food and drink."

She said, "Watching in the here and now
may make room for a note or two 
in our journal to be read in twenty years."

I said, "I am fortunate to have many days
to be joyfully remembered in the distant
future."

She said, "The ordinariness of today
shapes the shape of the days bringing
a close to the banquet of life."

The Second Moment

I said, "I dreamed that I couldn't 
even communicate my own 
accountability blocks."

She said, "So many intellectual
and emotional framings sound
trite in this day."

I asked, "Was I blocked or simply
not in the time and space
to talk the necessary language?"

She replied, "If you must lean,
lean into those connections
that don't yell and scream."

I said, "There was a piece of gold
in the dream.  Someone whispered,
Wait for the second moment."

She smiled.  "One really does not
have to know.  Feeling like there is
something present might be enough."

Ordinary Pessimism

I said, "I have decided to defend myself
against the many charges of me
being a pessimist."

She asked, "And is that possible
with reality the way it is; with
the crushing expectations of life?"

I replied, "Are you suggesting
that labels, once applied, are unable
to be removed?"

She answered, "There are times
when the overgrown bushes
need to be pulled out."

I said, "Perhaps in our drive
to be inhuman we need to curb
our natural impulses."

She said, "Or raise the level of preaching
filling the pews with unwanted desires
to achieve ordinariness."

The Valley of Decision

I said, "I had a dream that I was showing
off the latest dance in the middle of 
a circle of family and friends."

She asked, "Did you feel the
watching-centeredness change
from one dance to the next?"

I said, "No.  But the look of love
from parents and grandparents
remained between steps and turns."

She said, "It is not possible for time
to ever get tired of experiencing
moments like these."

I asked, tentatively, "Do you think that
awe in the midst of the grand mystery
will always remain with us?"

She answered, "Remember what the 
prophet said, 'Multitudes, multitudes 
in the valley of decision!"

A Bite

I said, "The last bite tasted the same 
as the first bite."

She said, "Sometimes the call
to be different from those around us
remains hidden in folded spaces."

I asked, "How, then, might loving
our neighbor fit into knowing 
differentness?"

She answered, "Shrines on the same
side of the street often share
peculiar and various words of comfort."

I said, "I recognize where the need 
for performing in the eyes of my ancestors
comes from."

She said, "We place a baby in our aunt's arms
and witness the generations coming to us."

Confessing Prophecy

I said, "I have a confession to make.
I failed to do what Simon said."

She said, "Perhaps it takes one
act of disobedience before we 
can claim our inheritance."

I asked, "What practicality does a belief
have if it doesn't make a difference
in our lives?"

She answered, "Is it a belief or is it
something that should be trashed?"

I said, "I have yet to consult with
the oracle of doom and gloom as to 
what if any action is needed."

She said, "Leave prophecy for the pages
of the books taken seriously by scholars."

The Faithful Remnant

I said, "I dreamed last night 
that the troublers of conscience 
came streaming out of the woodwork."

She said, "Sometimes even the ravens 
demand attention while performing."

I asked, "How does a voice make sound
in the midst of people who are convinced
that only they know the real ways?"

She answered, "Silence is fertile ground
for mutterings to emerge."

I said, "In walking from place to place,
so many feel mysteriously unconnected
to anything that might be called human."

She sighed, "The faithful remnant may 
come and go unexpectedly but they
will be seen and heard."

Example of Own Lives

I asked, "How many more fingers
must be pointed at the divine?"

She replied, "We humans enjoy 
the convolutions of large numbers."

I said, "Perhaps furiously fidgeting 
with the letter of the law should be 
made a crime."

She said, "Then people would not
have anything to do on bright, 
sunny mornings as the summer
comes to a close."

I added, "Except to fill daily journals
writing words that appear to be
tolerant and accepting."

She said, "It is easier to embrace ourselves
when we remain examples in our own lives."

Different From Yesterday

I said, "My fear is that organizational
formality will swallow all of us whole."

She asked, "Does that fear arise from 
the dangerous memories that haunt you
or from some gracious hint from the divine?"

I said, "A life's pilgrimage lives in the steps
taken closer to my heart than out beyond
the land that rises in the West."

She said, "Imagine big smiley faces written
lovingly across the pages of your notebook."

I said, "I am keenly aware of how, unburdened
from affliction, we reach a state of grace."

She said, "Then let us broaden our experience
of time's moments differently than yesterday."

I Believe

I said, "I believe in my beliefs shaped by the path 
I have walked between mountains and across 
meadows."

She looked up from her book and said, "What
have you been reading so late into the night?"

I said, "The pinched nerve in my neck is killing
me so I have been reading about near-death
experiences."

She said, "Perhaps you should dwell on more
than the single-mindedness that results from
a maddening pain."

I said, "Can't you see that I am seeing crooked
holding my neck at a precarious angle to life
the whole day long?"

She said, "Come.  Lay your head on my breast
so that you fit with me exactly how you are 
and I will ease your pain."