Discover more from ordinary miracles
Here, near a small pond in New Hampshire, in the quiet of morning, I feel brave enough to begin!
If you’re here, subscribing or reading, I’ve got my hands over my heart, saying thank you. I’ve been searching for a way to write to the ones I love (either closely or peripherally), and this is one way I’ve found. May this be a spaced dedicated to creativity, aliveness, awe, possibility, grief. Light and dark, light and dark.
Listening to this song on repeat and mostly wondering about the gap between who I’d like to be and what my day-to-day looks like. I wrote this postcard poem-prayer yesterday.
little summer wind above the rafters tracing all possibility and still here, then, even with the pain and the dust, even with the million ways life could go. all i can do is follow, and trust. i’ve tried it every other way. i’ve pushed and pulled and won and lost, and none of it gave me any peace, except seeing the moon brighter than i’ve ever seen it, jumping in waterfalls half-naked and hoping no one else will join, water ice cold as i had hoped, to remember what it’s like to want nothing, and everything, before coming up for air.
These past few months, I’ve felt close to wonder, and to awe. A wild freedom of hours, time to put my hands on my heart and ask, “what do you need?”
The answer sometimes surprises me. I’ve been drinking lots of gingerale, and writing more warmly and tenderly then I ever have. Less for an audience, and more like breadcrumb trails. Since I was twelve years old I’ve felt certain I wanted to be a poet, and what that looked like felt very clear: publications, readings, book tours, teaching, and less about my internal world.
Something about that vision broke open the last few months, where suddenly ‘poet’ didn’t mean what I thought it did.
A few days ago, watching the sun set over rolling Vermont hills, I kept thinking of the phrase: student of the vastness. It suddenly feels more apt to describe my job these days as tracking and witnessing possibility, listening to where I’m supposed to go next, and producing very little that someone else can hold in their hands.
Then again, maybe I’m not being fair to what I’m actually making: one-draft poems on my typewriter, a script for a dear friend’s wedding I’m helping to officiate, a great tuna melt, space for grief on the phone. And this newsletter!
I will say it’s quite disorienting, trusting the rearranging. To imagine my life even more widely— to say my primary job is a student of wonder, vastness, grief, awe. My second job is writing something down. Jack Kornfield says in No Time Like the Present:
“If you hold on to any expectation, you miss the wisdom. It is impermanent. Be the One Who Knows, the witness to it all. This is how trust grows.”
The questions I’m holding space for, and maybe they will serve you, too:
What role do I hold that needs tending to, redefining, cleansing?
What habits or rituals are based on ‘being good’ or checking off boxes?
How can I be one ounce more tender with myself?
Always here to read or tend to your responses or questions— you write reply directly to this email or comment below. Nothing is too big or too small.
A list of miracles I’ve been keeping track of:
making eye contact with a small brown horse
Kim Kran’s book Blossom and Bones
the stillness of Caspian lake, settled into a big turquoise canoe, fast as flying
witnessing the moons of Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn— telescopes everywhere
finding digestif biscuits at the Willy Store in Greensboro, Vermont
a dream where I faced a scary snake and bowed to it
contemplating a world where I actually changed my last name to Brave
losing track of time in a coffee shop, following a feeling
Okay, that’s all for now. I love you. Thank you for being brave with me.