Barbara Gormley

Moments strung together like pearls Remember how we began?It was sweetholding handswalking through streets fairs and festivals in different city partswatching each other experience… everything *** Sitting on the couch watching TV your name pops up on caller I.D. The sound of your voice thrills me so many things you say make me laugh (You refuse to believe you inspire me) *** (Each of these a different persona shimmering pearlstrung together connecting me to the world) You taught me to stayto stop going awayYou caught me so many timesand still liked meHow could I noteventually believe I’m okay? *** Dressed in layers of sweatswe jog at midnightA “waddle” you call itRunning on packed down snowin the middle of the streetlaughing at the coldwhile everyone else is asleep *** Love doesn’t usually work out for me because others can’t receive all I have to give, you saidFinally, you see me, I said *** Always, you call meeven though I don’t call youAlways, you like meeven when I don’tAlways, you are thereyou are there, you are there Not looking behind me Slow motion unfurling across half a centurya tight lotus bud warming toward fullnesscontent to drift with changing currentsno need to fix or struggle or pushthen opening daring to let the whole world inallowing what’s inside to be seenthe blossom lifts its head above everything I get back together with my bodywe were just giving each other space anywayDancing to loud music, I enjoy beingStretching on the balconyI smell hard dry desert energetically soaking up the rainit smells like sage but it’s notmore a pungent onslaught of brief replenishment Taking morning teaI water 5 plants who need little from metwo are cactiNoticing how they are moored in nourishing dirtI accept my shitty life circumstances as a place to push off with no anchor to discover the entirety of the searadical uncertaintyallowing all that to bump up against meWhat feels like it is killing me may be increasing transparency Becoming chaotictangled up and loosenedI used to want to leap and fly like the garudabut this is not how I thought that would feelTingling feetsick guthead in piecesI am no longer a girlbut some mixtureuniverse energy and human hybridI feel odder than usual Drinking rainTough prickly skin bursts into a fuscia straw flowersetting seeds asail on New Mexico windsjettisoning prayers outward “life renews itself”the sound of stunned exasperation falling upon cloudsFerocious energies like weather and nature show their forceI am wild and releasednot once looking behind me Weeklong retreat sitting meditationthings I've held down for years rise updrain out of the eyes and noseso much moistening going on walking meditationby the window I see a squirrelhopping straight up and down on all fours what delight! now we are on a break outsideall this time I thought the chipmunks and squirrelshung out on that ledge because it's kinda magical herebut then I see Bob and Donna feeding them sunflower seeds by the third daythe silence makes me want to curl up in a fetal positionthen Sasha says "go home and try not to do anything"so I clean my shrine carefully and rearrange all my dharma books I come back to sittingthoughts start to creep in the edgessoon full-fledged multitasking goes onthinking and following my breath and counting breaths all at once ahhh, luncha bright red cherry tomato explodes SOUND in my mouthI fall in love with Eleanor's black beans sitting againa swell of emotion threatens to overturn this surfertastes like drowningwe are invited to examine it furtherso I doand the swell breaks intodifferent textures at different points moving up and down my spinewhoa!heaven and earth got married and had a babyI feel like dancing across the wood floors… I think I found my inner squirrel Barbara Gormley is currently a Vajrayana student of Tibetan Buddhism living in the United States. She has previously published and received an award for her poetry and works as a Professor of Psychology.