Saturday, April 17, 2010

from Branches Without Leaves
an essay on a word


The rain makes her crazy. The smells. Not able to walk around outside. She takes off, runs, leaps, climbs the neighbors’ fence, gone. Only instinct, the desire to keep going. After a squirrel, a smell. She’ll endure the consequences later, now, she doesn’t think, just goes. Later, she’ll reflect on her actions from her time-out place in the basement.

When one thing disappears, something else takes its place. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, or it isn’t apparent. One day I was missing you, but thanked you, quietly, for giving me the opportunity to do some things: adopt Tash, listen to myself, do more yoga, sleep in the middle of the bed. One day I forgot altogether, and then remembered: Friday happy hour, eating with friends, snow in the woods, breaths instead of thoughts.

Tash is always in trouble. She runs away and climbs fences. She gets into the garbage and pulls out things to lick like wrappers or plastic bags, or things to tear into a million pieces, like empty milk cartons. Still she is all love and energy. Her whole body wiggles when I walk in the door. She sticks her nose right up against mine and stares deeply into my eyes like she knows we are connected, like she is telling me everything will be fine, we have each other. She jumps on the bed and curls up with her body pushed as close to me as possible and we keep each other warm.

Some Buddhists say that emptiness simply means inconceivable, or infinite, potential. In order to have the opportunity to realize this potential, one must surrender to complete emptiness, release attachments, trust in letting go. Pure possibility. Like a tree with no leaves, heading into spring.


Michelle Naka Pierce said...

Is this a larger project? What is the word? Love this: "When one thing disappears, something else takes its place."

Jill Darling said...

Yes, part of what is just a 4 page essay right now, deciding what to do with it...the word: loss.