Editor’s Note: We are giving you a double-dose of meditation on this Monday (because who doesn’t need some serious meditation right now?). Take a breath (if you want), relax (if you want), and enjoy the poetry (if you want).
A shadow of meditation under the oaks. (Photo by: Reece Burka)
Meditation Under the Oaks: Unknowability 5/3/2020
For as long as I can remember
I have pondered the most
basic question of existence:
“Why is there something
rather than nothing?”
If the universe began with a Big Bang
13.7 billion years ago, I longed
to figure out what set it off and why.
When I finally conceded that I would
never know the answer to the riddle
of existence, I got an unexpected
Instantly everything around me
took on the glow of the miraculous.
So I decided to make “unknowability”
my mantra of the day.
I ate with it, slept with it, played with the dog
and petted the cat with it…
I prayed with it, showered with it,
shaved and brushed my teeth with it…
And then I took it with me on my daily walk
in Audubon Park where the first thing I saw
stopped me dead in my tracks.
It was a girl about 3 or 4, slung over
her father’s shoulder, bobbing up and down
and giggling as the two of them
passed in front of me.
When I smiled at her, she smiled back
with a look so filled with delight that I knew
it had to be at least 13.7 billion years
in the making.
In that moment I realized
I had an answer to account
for everything that had to happen
to produce the starburst of joy
I had just witnessed.
Then we waved goodbye
as she went on with her father
to feed the ducks and I carried on
with my adventure in unknowability.
Over time the magic of unknowability
wore off and it was replaced by newer,
fresher mantras to frame my day.
But the memory of that smile remains
as pure and potent as ever.
Meditation Under the Oaks: The Virtue of Opposites 5/8/2020
On walks with my friend
he likes to remind me that
we can’t have the good without the bad,
we need the ugly to appreciate beauty,
without darkness there would be no light.
I know he is right…
But I can’t help wondering if
there could have been