A poem, a meditation, a gift:
“In the face of the world being difficult, and impossible, and glorious, over and over again. In the face of destruction and creation. In the face of hope, and ongoing, grinding impossibility, I want to give you this: that the sun also rises. That the sun always rises. That the sun even now is coming up over the horizon.”
“Turning Toward the Morning” by Gordon Bok:
Transcript and notes:
Recorded 9 February 2023.
In the face of the world being difficult, and impossible, and glorious, over and over again. In the face of destruction and creation. In the face of hope, and ongoing, grinding impossibility, I want to give you this: that the sun also rises. That the sun always rises.
That the sun even now is coming up over the horizon. More sun, just as we cannot bear it anymore. The tiniest threads of heat and warmth pushing snowdrops up through the ground.
But I want to give you what the sun rising gives me. And it may not give that to you. The sun specifically may not be your friend. Perhaps it is moonlight, or crashing waves. Those feed me, too. Perhaps it is those snowdrops.
Or perhaps it is the hum of a city coming back to life. Even at peril of life and limb, because that's kind of how cities do. They take the chances that no one else can take, will take. Sometimes it's disastrous. Sometimes it's just survival. Sometimes we build what we can and we hope the earthquake doesn't come and sometimes the earthquake arrives anyway.
But I want to give you that pushing up spring-ness feeling that I get. But some people get it in the turn of the year that becomes fall and winter. In the gradual dying back of the world to expose the skeletons. Some people get it from the growing cold. Some people get it from the blinding heat. Some people get it from holding a hand or kissing a cheek. Some people get it from deep solitude.
Some people wish that we still lived in a world where being an anchoress was a possibility. Was an honorable profession. Where any of us professed our professions at all. For real, for deep. And where other people would understand what that meant.
Some people get it from laundry. Or from folding things so straight and square and clean that you can stack them impossibly high and they won't fall over. Some people get things that we will never understand, and some people are so exactly like us that we cannot understand them. And sometimes it's like the sunrise; it is not meant to be understood. It is not meant to be anything except exactly what it is. Beautiful. Ridiculous. Fanciful.
For me, even now the sun rises. The tendrils of light are creeping across the land and, in between the blinds and, onto my face. It's a harbinger of everything. More beauty, more difficulty, more possibility, more challenge.
We'll have a window of growth and then there may be fires. We'll have a window of ease. And then there may be impossible dry heat. We'll have a window and then something will happen and then we'll have a window and then something will happen. And the windows don't always overlap.
So almost always there's something happening and almost always there's a window and we have to find the windows. We have to find the windows and grow up between the stones; around and over and sometimes through, into the crack and spreading our wings, our leaves, until the stone surrenders. Let me give you this at least. That in my world, The sun also rises. The sun always rises.
Gordon Bok was right. The world is always, inevitably, turning toward the morning. What I can give you is that right now I know that. And it is also turning toward the evening. And it is also turning toward the spring and it is also turning toward the fall. One thing follows another. Cascade and cascade and cascade. We do not have to stop it.
We have only our way to find.