Night-Blooming Cereus. September 2014.
GIFTS XXVIII. February 8, 2015
My part is to live
by my deep inner sense of what I must do
and be: myself and no other. If I do
this work well, something magical will
happen. I can’t know exactly what or when,
but I do get hints. Inside I’m clear, my
heart is clean, my will surrendered.
One day full confirmation will come,
and it will be like the cereus putting
out its bloom after years of looking
ordinary and not very interesting.
Straight out of a hard green leaf the
stalk puts a finger out, then a stem,
then that bulb of white. I go out
each night to check, but it takes
several days. Then the bloom shows
signs of a hundred slender petals
swelling. That night the cereus opens
its huge flower head. Even then
anyone could miss it. One night, one
good look is all you get. It’s enough.
A vision is a gift. I was mid-life when
I saw my own life’s archetype clearly.
It seemed presumptuous. It still does.
Yet I believed it then and I do now.
Shakespeare’s sister from Virginia
Woolf? Yes. I could be a woman
who had the freedom both of speech
and of experience to write what I
wished to write as well as the wide
vision of human nature. Healer?
I already knew I could both harm
and heal. If I saw truth, I must
find a way to speak, not hold back
until I spoke cuttingly and hurt
more than healed. Master? That
seemed beyond me. It wasn’t.
I have studied writers ancient
and modern, here and elsewhere
and learned from all to use everything
that resonated within me. I have
trusted my deep inner voice, my Muse,
or call it the God within, where what
I try for touches and harmonizes
with “the grain of the Universe.”
I wanted my writing to share wisdom,
tell truth, show love, and slip past
walls of indifference, anger, cruelty.
Penelope to an Odysseus? I wanted
it so much, but it kept slipping
away. Now I see that it was there
all the time, and it’s still there.
After twenty years I’m coming home.
We both waited for this moment
whether we knew it or not.