a moment of tenderness…


In a moment of tenderness
Insecurity rears
I feel sad, anxious
I am too small
I don’t belong

And then Ursula K Le Guin heals me with these words:
“Look at water… It finds the weak places…the openings… Following water we come where we belong.”*

My weakness is alright
I have a place
“on the side of the lowly,”
as the I Ching would say**
And it brings me to a
beautiful place
Where people are kind
and humble
Where we haven’t overbuilt
Covering earth

Where the people still listen
to their community
of non-human others
Where ambition
is less interesting than caring
Where it is enough
to watch the sky
to hear the birds
to eat fresh from the garden
to have time for a smile
For a whole conversation even!

Where we play small
Not because we are afraid
But because we are already filled with the universe
So vast that we laugh
And get back to the business
of getting dirty
of feeding each other
of giving thanks
for fresh fruit
and sunshine
and gentle love

Written in western Colorado

*The more complete quote, from the short story, ‘Old Music and the Slave Women,’ by Ursula K Le Guin (published in Four Ways to Forgiveness and other compilations): “‘Suhan guided you here. Guided us all. Into the mountains.’ ‘He didn’t really guide us,’ the fourteen-year-old argued. ‘Yes, he did. We followed his weakness. His incompleteness. Failure’s open. Look at water, Esi. It finds the weak places in the rock, the openings, the hollows, the absences. Following water we come where we belong.’”

**I Ching (Chinese Book of Changes) hexagram 62, Preponderance of the Small.


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