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Thinking Fields

I'm thinking of too many things right now, as if there is no room to rent in my head. I have the practical things, pressing in like toddlers near a tantrum. This must be done--and this--and that too.

School things occupy my mind, the ugly writing assessment I am required to give my classes on Tuesday, 70 minutes of quiet, desperate student writing instead of getting to know the new faces. I'm thinking of my office space, which seemed so warm last semester and now oddly distant. I can feel the presence of the workers over the summer who moved my belongings about with little care.

I'm thinking of my personal space and this new place in which I am living. It too does not feel like my space, even though I have introduced myself to it. I'm thinking of the empty space of my old home. Sometimes I feel it calling to me. I'm thinking of the rosemary grandfather bush that I will miss so dearly, and the vervain with its wild tendrils and delicate blue blossoms, and the red hibiscus that loved to show me her most beautiful blossoms.

I'm thinking of the loud things, those thoughts that demand attention, while the quieter thoughts settle in the back of my mind--the old house scratches there. It's voice is loud when it isn't usually so because things must be done there before it can be sold. But the sadness... that's a quiet thought that rests deeper.

Sometimes in the early dark of morning, my mind visits those other thoughts. They are quiet companions, our understanding needs no words. Love and loss hold hands. Joy and sadness nuzzle close. It is an open field and I welcome those haunting thoughts. Be gentle with your heart, I remind myself. It is a fragile thing. Yet, I would rather my heart break a thousand times to feel what it is to be human, to love deeply, to be seen and heard, to care. I would rather that heart of mine shatter again and again than to build a wall around it. Rumi tells us that our task is not to seek for love, but merely to find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it. If feel this deeply, a truth-sister who knows my tenderness.

3am tugs me awake. My eyes see nothing but the ink of night, and so I close them, leaning in with my other senses. Raindrops heavy on the roof. A light patter when they fall onto soft earth.

Loud, pressing thoughts are sleeping, and I quiet my mind as not to wake them. The others approach, wrap their arms around me. I have missed the embrace, the kiss, the tears. Lost things. Missing things.

People and places. Lucid dreaming and floating through time, space collapsing in on itself until I feel what was is again. Such wistful folly, this deep desire. My heart beats and I feel the presence of a hand on my chest, warm from the happiness of dream. Want and ache. Quiet thoughts. What is and isn't. Seeing in the darkness. Words that need not be spoken. And Rumi, again, my poet companion who warns that soon it will be light. Gather your thoughts and the love there:

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about."

Yes, meet me there, quiet companions. I'll be waiting.

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