Strange Insomnia

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I have been inflicted
with a strange insomnia of late…
suddenly at 4 I’m awake,
then I meditate.
I’d rather be asleep
but my body wakes me up,
mind spinning, spinning,
weighing every option,
projecting outcomes,
desperately seeking
solutions to every possible
problem that could arise
between here and kingdom come.
My meditation throws the busyness
of my mind into sharp relief,
and the thoughts keep coming,
so many every second.
Post meditation
I try to make the most
of this quiet time,
sipping green tea,
writing in my journal,
but by the time the kids are awake,
I’m ready to lay my head
upon my pillow
and succumb to the fatigue
that has burgeoned in my body
since I first opened my eyes.
Why is this happening?
I want sweet rest,
but apparently my body has
other plans for me.
It’s as if it says,
You’re not allowed to be unconscious.
Make the most of this time,
awaken your whole self–
we’ve got work to do.

How long will it go on like this?
Wish me luck…
deep restful sleep
would be pure bliss.

Garden in the Concrete

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Sometimes little tendrils of hope spring up
like dandelions in the concrete
and life surprises me by being sweet
and real and honest.
I think in truth
there is so much goodness
in this crazy spinning world
but my thoughts kick me out of Heaven.
I have to wake myself up
out of my own trance.
I have to do this over and over
and over again.
Today I woke up a few times.
I woke up enough
to deepen a friendship
and sense the basic goodness
underlying the constant play
of physical phenomena
and all of the illusions
projected by my own skewed vision.
Today some little tendrils of hope
wound their way around my heart, my mind,
and now I see a little garden in the concrete.

Dark Thoughts Just Before Bed

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Swirling thoughts
tired body
recipe for dark imaginings.
Should I go to sleep
before I cook any up?
The kids have been asleep for some time now
and I finally have some quiet…
I could write, I could sew,
I could draw, I could knitā€”
but what good is creative space
when you have no energy to create?
Balance seems like a fantasy
when every day ends with such fatigue.
After a while, hope runs thin,
and thoughts of morning
bring no solace.
Ah, it’s getting darker by the minute.
Maybe I should’ve gone to sleep
before I wrote this.

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Not like my usual poems that include at least a few warm fuzzy bits..but oh well…this is how I feel, and I’m keeping it real.

Trying

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Trying to be good, do good
trying to get things done
trying to be patient, to be kind
trying to stay awake and open.
Trying to get “there”
trying to be here
trying to know myself,
to understand others
trying to forgive.
Trying to believe, to trust,
trying to let go
and flow with this endless river.
All of this trying, trying, trying
is so tiring, tiring, tiring.
But…
I am not a human trying.
I am a human being.
Let me set down the burden
of such impossible expectations
and embrace the being
concealed by all the trying.
I wish I could say it is easy to do this–
but I would be lying.

Learning to Listen

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I started to put my fingers in my ears.
I didn’t want to hear him speak;
the sound of his voice sickened me…
but then I remembered
that this is why we are where we are today–
because we don’t listen to one another.
And so I resisted.
I looked at him there on the TV screen,
rehashing
(what I consider to be)
the same oldĀ insubstantial rhetoric,
and I tried to listen.
We need to learn how to listen
especially when we don’t agree.
We need to learn how
to look at one another
and see the similarities
rather than the differences.
To find the humanness in our opponents,
to keep our hearts open,
to look for solutions.
Pretending they don’t exist
won’t make the problems go away.
May I keep my eyes and ears and heart open,
may I learn how to really listen.

What Would Happen?

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I start to wonder
why I’m so tired all of the time
so I take a step back
and look into my life.
Working so hard,
finding precious few moments
to really rest (if any),
feeling out of balance,
unsure of where I stand.
And then I realize,
maybe I’m so tired
because I think life
should be different
from the way it is now.
Maybe the true burden
is the belief
that it all should be
other than what it is now.
What would happen
if I practiced acceptance?
What would happen
if I let go into the river of life
and flowed with this moment?

The Deeper Truth

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Longing for understanding…
this tenderness in my heart
turns heavy and grieves,
wanting connection,
seeking loving reflection,
the tears fall on the inside.
And yet…
I don’t wish to wallow,
to over-identify, over-dramatize,
become blinded by my stories
of separation, isolation–
so where is the line?
Where is the line that distinguishes
feeling one’s feelings
from becoming lost in them?
I think this is why telling one’s story
to a kind listener
is so very important.
If I’m only ever telling my story
silently
to myself,
it becomes tedious, neurotic,
delusional;
but when I look into the eyes of compassion
and articulate my experience,
allow myself to be held,
to be validated,
seen and heard–
then my story becomes a means of connection,
a way of seeing how I’m not so different
from other human beings
going through the same thing.
But what to do when such a friend
is nowhere near, unavailable?
How do I listen to my own story
so that instead of feeding the delusion,
it might become a means of connection,
returning home
to the deeper truth of myself?