a responsive flapping

Jerry writes…

Don’t Do a Thing

The time has come to be quiet
to let the stillness wash over you
cover the noise
and unsettledness
in thunderous silence.

Don’t do a thing;
Just sit there
out of the way
Spacious presence
to what cannot be seen
in the turmoil
the flap of lips
waving of arms
pace of feet.

Can you not go away,
wait and watch
for a span of time
to bring yourself
more fully real
to pure presence?

But you’re talking
mad-talk now,
the kind of thing that happens
to the disengaged.

And i tap with my lips flapping cross the keyboard.

aaagggh! Jerry, you’ve been inside my head this month or reading my unposted posts and prophetically hitting the mark. awe what a mess right when i was starting to wake up in my life i fell over and skinned my whole being!

i flap, stamp, and pace with my mad internal talk for in my head I must again overlook, overstep…celebrations of life entry points for those who only still linger…in my mind. i see them laid out before me, they alter my path for the unwelcome must be set aside, and i must step over, around these days, these moments. i must pretend i don’t care without a hardening. how? i don’t really know. i flap. i pretend. i tuck my flapping feelings and pacing wishes into a tiny box. i work them into the small mundane space between the dirty corrugated walls of used imagined cardboard, yet the feelings are so fricking loud, remaining vividly fresh. but i get them in, holding the flaps of the lid down tightly as the box becomes softened with it’s soggy emotionally ladened content; i quickly wrap the silver duct tape round and round with blog postings and unpostings leaking, spilling out, of every gap. lifting with both hands, i put the saturated squashed up box up over my shoulder and slide it into the pack with the others. i cinch the pack closed, tussle it a bit to even out the load across my back, a few of my wrapped boxes continue to spill out onto my blog. i stand anyway. aren’t i suppose to pick up my mat. i am walking again, navigating around the day, over the absent celebrants. i travel now on a new path for the unwelcomes will lead me to new unexpected places where i am welcome. or at least this is what i tell myself as i try to loosen my flapping grip on mental lingerings so that i can move and breathe stepping into the open space of his spacious presence. i know it is true. i look for these welcomings. i must open myself to new welcomes no matter that i can’t imagine them. pace. pace. i will believe they will come. i know they are already here but i am blind by my need to box and attempt to put away, so tired of seeing. so i wipe and flap at the blindness. boxes sometimes scatter and spill back out. i know i have had many welcomes the last two years but they have been hard to hold onto for my blind flapping leaves me so distracted by the uns…they overwhelm me. i simply haven’t learned to hold loosely, sit still beside the quiet waters. but two years means, dang it all, it’s time to shut off the overwhelms of the uns before it becomes the place i live and can’t crawl out of. i haven’t known how to do that. shutting people off, or simply shutting off, is counter to how i am built. this boxing isn’t who i am. and not finding a way to work it out is counter to how i am built. my flapping arms feel bound. so i struggle flap. the boxing is counter to all i believe but i don’t see an avenue to work through. i am built to see not to box. i am built to work through not box. but now i keep catching myself disengaged in my boxing. these boxes i carry shouldn’t be here but i can’t unpack them without seeing and seeing means i am “suppose” to do something with it and what it seems i should do is unwelcome within the body of the unwelcomes. flappingly i disengage. sit still. but then i get flapping for there is the way my calling and practice of art are so intricately linked by inner listening, seeing, a place where i catch hold of the throbs of patterns in culture, in others, in self with life working it’s way in and out of them. i have always seen these patterns and flows in others and myself with the hand of history and the nows tugging the individuals and groups. i suppose this kind of seeing is suppose to be a gift, this seeing or being sensitive to. but i am still raw and i don’t want to see what i can do nothing about. boxedly i disengage. over-seeing again flappingly, pacingly disengaged. need to stop seeing all the connections, sit still in that washing stillness. yet living and my practice are so intertwined with the seeing which is a type of still sitting, that it is hard to know how to take my fingers off the throbs of seeing into what is art and life, for art is harvested from living. they are so interconnected — how do i pull out some of the threads or cut them out without severing the entire cord? how do i gaze else where? or even simply to harden or disengage one area for me would simple make all of me hard and brittle so instead i end up soggily flapping my keyboard for fear of hardening and disengaging. i don’t seem to find an inbetween place of “don’t do a thing” of stillness. i do grow more gentle and merciful with each of my failed attempts and others. today i am soggy again with the paced flapping, flapping as i pretend to have stepped over and around with my mad talking these historical celebrations. and i realize getting lost in the seeing is just as disengaging. were my gifts, my calling, are, there to is my sin. ramble, keyboard lips flap, pace, with my own mad talk. aggggh. why is it that stitching tubes with my hands moving, the scents of rubber and grime, move me into a stillness that washes over my inner noise of seeing, boxing, flapping? now i must get back to sewing.

flap. flap. stitch. stitch.


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