Earth Etude for Elul 29 – World as Lover, World as Self

by Daniel Kieval~

there is a meditation practice

watching everything arising, inside and outside

responding with a gentle,

“not me”

this thought – “not me”

this anger – “not me”

this leg – “not me”

“not me”

it is a Big Truth

all this stuff is unfolding

in a giant performance art piece we call The Universe

and we are just a witness to this flow

They say the opposite of a small truth is a lie, but the opposite of a big truth is another big truth

is it not equally true to say to everything – “me” ?

this anger – “me”

this song – “me”

this wafting scent of honeysuckle – “me”

the silent waterfall in the trees – “me”

the cackling crow – “me”

the movements of this body – “me”

the vast yearning of the soul, and the small, petty thoughts – “me” and also “me”

to call ourselves but witnesses

does not do justice to the juice that flows down our chin as we bite into this life

to our wovenness in this web of flesh and story

no, there is no way out of this

this is our world, our fleshy body, and we are bigger and more whole than we ever realized

and more fragile, and more real

and we awaken

with heartbroken tears of gratitude

arms wide

calling everything in

come home

come home

you are me again, and always



The title of the poem is borrowed from the book of the same name by Joanna Macy

The saying about the opposite of a small truth and a big truth is attributed to quantum physicist Niels Bohr

Daniel Kieval currently lives in Western Massachusetts along the Connecticut River. Lately he most enjoys spending time creating art, taking it slow, and exploring wild places (outer and inner).

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