“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue

20 June 2016

Summer Solstice

It bears some explaining now,
how to survive the longest day of the year.
But first, the acceptance:
You will have to be diurnal.
You didn't ask for it, I know,
this merciless day-dwelling,
the milked and measured time of men.
And then the moon
your mother
demanding all night
that you listen to her stories,
write them down even
with insomniac hands.
She pulls at the strings she wove
at the base of your heart
until tissue meets bone,
threatening to break out altogether.
There is no rest.
This tilt of the earth is not for you.

But since you are here,
more woman than wolf,
you should know something
about how to meet the hours.

The morning is easy.
You can rise as early as you wish.
The earlier it is, the more dream-secrets
she whispers in your ear
to sustain you.
And if you hurry, without rushing,
you can feel the urgent, tender arms
of perfect love reaching for you
before they travel west
to hover as mist
over the slow-waking mountains.

You give yourself to the tending,
to the plans of yesterday
not quite finished.
There is movement in the late morning hours,
flow and fulfillment.

The noon hour is meant to blaze
with a single fierce intention.
You claim the peak,
abrupt and craggy apex though it may be.

You must sleep away the afternoon.
Your ancestors are so brutally far now,
and you are truly, utterly alone.
We are together in that.
Let restless dreams
carry you to the twilight.
The ache of estrangement
will loose itself.

At five o'clock, the river begins
to rage again,
and it is your rebirth
into adulthood.
You are reacquainted with yourself
as caretaker of your own boundlessness.
Now is the time to write.
It is the time to sit with a beloved
and imagine, in delicious detail,
how it will all be made new.
It is the time to co-conspire.
It is the time to linger
with lips and fingers and breath on his skin,
not for the heat
but for the cool assurance.
If he is no longer,
you remember,
and it is almost the same.

The next three hours
are the truth of your life.
They will show what work
you are willing to do,
how earnestly you will
seek the horizon,
whether you will fall in love again
with desire itself
for another year.
Use the weight of your body
to lean in,
drag the fear along behind you
if you cannot set it down.
Your mother is rising to call you
into the now haven of night.