Wednesday, September 25, 2013

a handful of blossoms


by Anna Kamienska

Those who carry grand pianos
to the tenth floor wardrobe and coffins
the old man with a bundle of wood hobbling toward the horizon
the lady with a hump of nettles
the madwoman pushing her baby carriage
full of empty vodka bottles
they will all be raised up
like the seagull’s feather like a dry leaf
like an eggshell a scrap of newspaper on the street

Blessed are those who carry
for they will be raised.

We all carry something, some weight. Some of us carry more than others. How to carry those weights, those sorrows, those sadnesses and disappointments? How to carry loss? How to carry betrayal? mistakes? missteps?

How to live?

“I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man's life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience. ”

- Martin Buber

Pema Chodron has said, go forward with curiosity, which is one of those lines I repeat in my head when the chips are down. And also, when the chips are up. Whatever is going on in my life, I find this helps me to stay present. Feel whatever is happening. Experience things, quietly sink down into them. It is much like Martin Buber's expression - about having a willingness to explore. We can let ourselves stay stuck in the mud, or we can be willing to experience. This becomes a habit. Constantly embarking on this path of discovery, going forward with curiosity, carrying what we carry, certainly, but our approach is open.

Working at the library these last 2 and a half years, seeing people who carry so much on a regular basis, has been very good for me. I used to think I carried a grand piano some days, and now I know it's really a handful of blossoms.


  1. I really needed to read this today. Thank you so much.

  2. The Martin Buber quotation has just been entered into my commonplace book. Thank you so much. And I picked the last of my roses this morning, separating each flower into its petals so that I could freeze them for future jellies and syrups. Holding a handful of dark red, velvety rose petals is a spiritual experience--beauty lighter than feathers, solid as gravity.


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