Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

That Part of Me

 

My heart is working hard these days

with loss and loneliness.

I am an orphan seeking home. 

The grief of moving through the landscape which

is my life

tugs at the ways I have 

stitched myself together.

This waking up is painful –

but as I move forward,

I open my heart to it.

 

It is a time of deepening –

of allowing the mystery to instruct

and show me

the location of my true belonging.

The older I get,

the more acquainted I am

with this type of deep reckoning.

It is familiar terrain and

I have visited it often.

When I look back, I can see this.

But in this moment, 

choosing to be present

feels like valor.

 

I gradually take on the challenge

as little pieces of me mend.

I begin to hear again the 

warm and forgiving invitation.

It calls to me like

a song over the hillside,

sending music to my ears and heart.

I allow this embrace of mystery which

wells up within my very soul.

This is the place which

connects me to the beauty of it all

and the realization of belonging.

I find my way home again

and I learn to dwell in a sweet peace.

I dare to hold everything –

all the precious pain and longing.

Thanksgiving visits me –

I am surprised as it wells up like a wave

and invites me to rest in a beautiful tenderness.

This is Life and Grace

given and received.

They had never left.

 

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

“Secret work is being done in us of which we have no inkling.”  John O’Donahue

 

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Poem · Poetry

This Gathering

 

A walk along the shore

would soothe

as would

the vision of you

reaching towards me.

Why can love feel

so elusive?

Your broken places

touch mine

and we are so far apart.

I lift up all the questions,

all the loss –

and present them to the heavens.

My offering is

an act of surrender

and faith.

This gathering of my heart

and the recognition of its movement

brings me to the place

beyond the beyond –

it reminds me 

of my need for God

and what is real.

There is comfort in the lifting, and

I am blessed with

a new lightness of being

which enables movement

foreward.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

 

 

 

 

Poem · Poetry

This Golden Crack

Like a canvas

before the artist’s brush,

we get our markings.

Our unique hues

and textures

create the picture 

of what seems to be true

about us.

But sometimes life is lived

more like a ceramic pot –

one that gets cracked

along the way…

shattered, even –

the mending of which

is complicated work.

It takes the artist’s hands

and keen attention to detail

to put the pieces together,

beautifully.

It is a necessary process.

This breaking,

followed by the recognition of the mess,

enables us to be held

and mended.

When we submit to the

Master’s hands,

and allow for the

hard work to be done,

we are fashioned anew.

Our cracks become golden

and essential. 

We are forever changed, and

we shine with humble strength

from our broken places.

Like the Velveteen Rabbit,

we have been loved into

becoming more real.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

Tea bowl Tea bowl
; Japan; 17th century; Stoneware with clear, crackled glaze, stained by ink; gold lacquer repairs.; H x W: 10.5 x 12.2 cm (4 1/8 x 4 13/16 in); Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Acquainted With Grief

Somewhere between meeting the new

and releasing the comfortable

there will always be grief.

It is that separation thing

that is oh, so inevitable –

and as predictable as 

melting ice cream.

It is the tug along the way 

that pulls at the heart,

sometimes tearing it painfully –

leaving scars that 

mark the spot.

Nothing lasts –

or so it seems.

It takes a lifetime to figure this out.

Eventually, we learn

that grief is the price of love –

given and received.

I bump into grief every day.

When I see it in another,

its embers are sparked in me 

and the familiar ache of it all

shows up,

reminding me of its 

ready presence,

pouncing on me,

like a mugger on a morning walk.

Grief has an I get it quality

when witnessed in another…

Our earthly existence

comes with loss

woven deeply into its tapestry.

We can see it in each other’s faces –

when we dare to look up.

Loss is the glue 

that connects us

and joins us together. 

Some think God causes this sadness

as if to manipulate us

to devotion

by bringing us to our knees

with heartache.

I disagree.

To me, God is all trust and love

with an unimaginable capacity

for wisdom and compassion –

and is not the cause

of our suffering.

If anything, God gets it –

suffers and grieves with us ,

weeping as we weep.

God knows that the answer

to grief

is the loving embrace –

the one we share with one another,

and the one 

God gives with

Everlasting Arms –

through us.

We are not alone,

ever.

This must be realized.

When it comes to grief,

and life (as it turns out)…

well, we are in it together –

and once we get off the floor,

after extreme loss has arrived,

we can move forward,

side by side,

learning a deepening resilience

together.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

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Poem · Poetry

Still You

Oh, yes,

The seasons come and go,

bringing new ways

of being.

Sometimes you shine with new growth,

literally bursting at the seams –

brilliant in shiny young green.

And then there are the periods

when what is not needed

must fall away –

the colors indicating

how bold you are

to face the loss

of what is attached.

And yet,

through it all –

despite how the winds have shaken you,

or how crowded your field has become,

you remain.

Your roots run deep,

they grasp, expand,

and strengthen

as your rings widen.

Your center

is deeply connected to the eternal.

So, my friend,

the lesson here

is to understand at your core

that though the changes come –

whether welcomed,

or not,

you are not the changes.

You are

still you.

 

Copyright © Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2017

Image created by my sister, Martha Harris

Autumn Tree by Martha

Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Breathing Rare Air

 

“I don’t think you can see it,”
said my love one day
during one of our connecting moments
when he gently dared
to pull away my self-imposed blinders.
“You are too close to it.”

He may be right.
Maybe I don’t see it,
this reality that few get to be in.

I work in a strange land,
a land of life
and a land of death.
The terrain is sometimes rocky and treacherous,
sometimes peaceful,
always momentous.
Every day I am in the midst
of the end
and the beginning,
all wrapped up in the movement of breath
and the wrenching of hearts.
I get to witness this,
over and over.
And my love does not see
how I can do this.

I breathe rare air.
It is the air of final breaths,
filled with spaces, longing, regrets,
love and letting go.
On a daily basis,
I am next to bodies as they sputter to a stop.
I take in the worn faces and the withered forms
barely taking up space.
I breathe this rare air.
The air of souls bursting to be free.
I hear the sounds
and smell the smells.
I breathe rare air.

You may wonder what this does to me,
this rarified experience.
I wonder, too.
Is this death I witness contagious?
Will my disappearing act be hastened
because I am seemingly comfortable
in this strange land?

I think not.

If anything,
entering this territory on a daily basis
is an invitation.
A chance to truly see.
With eyes wide open to what lies ahead,
there is no pretending.
No glossing over or dodging the truth.
I will end one day,
or, at least my body will.
There is no covering this over
with any effort to avert it,
whether it is in being as healthy as I can be,
or in avoiding what needs attending
before it is too late.

No.

Working with the dying
and breathing this rare air,
has opened me up in ways
beyond my comprehension.
I am being changed.
How could I not be?
All I know now
is that with each inhale of this experience,
my tightly bound heart
unwraps a little more.
I am softening.
And here is the nub of it:
I am getting a head start
on letting go
of all that does not matter.
I am being schooled in death bed academics
and I intend to be a straight A student.
So, maybe working with the dying
and breathing this rare air
IS contagious
because in learning to let go now,
and do the work before me,
my death can be more beautiful
when my time comes,
and my loved ones
more at peace.

breathe

Copyright@2017 Cynthia Cady Stanton

Poem · Poetry

I Am Not My Body

I am not my body.
I am not the wrinkles around my eyes,
nor am I the deep lines forming under my nose.
I am not the softening of my belly that is thickening my waist and
now spilling over my waistbands.
I am not the annoying chin hairs cropping up.
Every time I look in the mirror,
I notice the things I am not.
My eye goes right to anything that screams aging at me,
especially my now droopy neck.
Or the brown spots forming on my face and hands.
“Damn it!” I say to myself.
“I am getting old.”
And I turn away in disgust.

But I am not even the parts of my body that I like.
I am not my pretty blue eyes.
I am not my fit arms or my perky ass.
I am not my feminine hands
nor am I my white teeth
and nice color treated hair.

I am not the bad,
I am not the good.
I am not my body.

I am much more than what I see in a mirror.
I am more than how my clothes feel on me.
I am more than any pain, any tension or ache.
I am more.
I go deeper than all that.
I am larger and more expansive than any image I see as I walk past a mirror,
or window.
I am above and below the skin
I am not the skin.
I am the spirit that gives my body life.
I am the sparkle in my eyes,
the warmth in my voice.
I am the tenderness in my touch.
I am the deep tones of my hearty giggle.
I am the strength behind a sincere embrace.

I am made of stardust.
I am connected deeply to all living beings.
I am energy.
And most of all,
I am divine love expressed.

I am not my body but
I live in my body.
My body may be weathering on the outside
just like any home would.
The paint may be flaking
but a warm light burns within.
A house is not a home
without that inward glow.
Shine on.

Copyright© 2017 Cynthia Cady Stanton

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