A Reckoning… with Desire


Do you ever have those moments when asked a seemingly simple question, but it causes you pause?  “Would you like to go for a walk?” he asked.  It was truly a simple question with a seemingly obvious answer: I love the sun; it was out, and thus you’d think I’d respond with a resounding, “Yes!”  But you see, we don’t ever meet outside… and besides, this is serious business, this meeting.  I don’t want distractions.

But the fact remains, he asked.  And after my pause, I answered, “Yes.”  So we went, walking and talking as two people do when meandering down the street.  We found a park bench overlooking the Puget Sound and sat ourselves there.  I began to speak about finding home in the open air; also, finding the words that have saved my life.  And he, he asked me to consider that calling which asks of me to give that very life away…

It couldn’t have been more fitting.  His inviting, my response. Notice how you felt the delight of the breeze as the sun warmed your face.  How you heard the water sing as it lapped rhythmically along the shore.  Feel how this gift was given just for you, you who love the radiance of sun and earth.  Some part of you must have known his simple question held within it a deeper invitation, as though he was asking this:

Will you, too, believe that you are worthy of love?  That you, too, have a place in the human family?  Could it be that the very gift you have to give is the intimate knowledge of your loss and the simultaneous gain of your true humanity? 

Come with me.  Walk with me and talk with me.  See how I do it.

Then go… and do likewise.

The Reckoning

Who do you love?
Who in your life has come
As a messenger from another world?
The world you wish to inhabit,
The one you can hardly bear dreaming of—
So good, it can’t possibly be within reach.

But wait,
This assertion—this certainty,
What makes it more true,
More believable than the alternative?
Could not belief in the possible
Lead to the probable?
Give up on your endless supposed probables—
The ones that keep you enclosed and safe,
Free from the anxiety and excitement of risk.

Turn now to those loves who’ve come to greet you,
To intersect your world and introduce you anew
To the life your heart’s spoken of for years.
Invest yourself in those who’ve chosen the path of risk
Who see deeply into the visible to the invisible.

Between this world and that,
There is a reckoning.
And so I ask you again, who do you love?
And who loves you as one who carries within
The possibility of a life given to generosity?
A life that says, here I am:
A confounding compilation of probable possibilities—
A woman who knows how to inhabit this world
As one made for that world,
A woman who knows how to reckon with desire…
And at last, not find it wanting.  


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