09 September 2016

On the Runway



File:Mute.swan.touchdown.arp.jpg
 Swan touchdown


Some-when a short serenity  prayer came to me:
God, I have lived, so death is not my enemy.
Thank you for holding me and using me so well.

That day, sitting in a plane’s 10th row window seat
I wanted to loosen shoulder muscles that clenched
upon take-off, causing pain that lasted for days.

The trick was to pray when the plane is next in line for take-
off, repeat, shut eyes, and sigh—and then to pray again
if it begins approaching its landing.  Repeat

until it is once more on wheels and tarmac,
then sigh and apply more gratitude for life.
So far it’s worked.  I live to write unclenched,

amazed at the results   Miraculous to be
aware of other creatures breathing easily
in the resultant harmony of serenity.

No joke.  There is a level of reality—
accessible to you and me—that surrenders
to well-being even though we fight against it.

Why fight?  The serious work of ending evil
engulfs me, leading to struggle and pain.
Internalized, pain is necessary to change.

But when that pain puts me on the runway again,
I say my prayer and loosen up for the long haul,
grateful for the little deaths that help me to live. 



(Written after reading Big Life Includes Small Deaths 
by Fr. Richard Rohr, and before attending 
the weekend retreat of PYM's Undoing Racism Group.)



My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.

© 2016 Susan L. Chast




3 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

How I love "grateful for the little deaths that help me to live." Beautiful and soulful work, my friend.

Martin Kloess said...

In the beauty of this rises a truth

Sumana Roy said...

love the close...a realization it is so beautifully put...