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How Simple

Page history last edited by Peg Syverson 11 years, 8 months ago

How simple


Once, in a moment of stillness just like this, Flint asked,

How simple can you let this be?


Sometime you may be broken hearted by the poverty

of what you have to offer. Stunned into silence

and struck dumb by awe, you wonder

whether you can even survive this

crushing grief. So many years gone by in ignorance

and bad choices, so many opportunities for grace

just wasted,

so many good moments ruined by

your own resistance, your own

stupidity and carelessness.


Maybe you have crawled here

on your hands and knees,

maybe you came in upright

and then got felled by what you’ve seen

or heard. A bird song with the light rising behind it,

a slab of stone with a deep vein of color, a person

laying a whole life open right before you,

or the sharpened blade of pain in a shoulder

held for an eternity.


In “just sitting,” over and over again

we are stung by the complete failure

of every plan and strategy. And yet...


And yet, if you are like me you are both grateful

and terrified by the recognition

of this very life, bereft of all our fantasies and

illusions.  No use crying out “I am just one person!

What can I do about it?” Just stay.

The squirrel runs so lightly on the fence rail while I

struggle with my doubt and long for

a magic transformation into

something I can admire or even tolerate. Just stay.


The evening bells, the flame of a candle,

a long still evening ahead. In accepting

the gift of a life, even my own life, just this particular one

I took a dare. What can I make of this,

a human life? Days of rapture, nights of dread, 

the whole catastrophe, and yet, I wonder,

how simple can I let this be?


When you have nothing else to give,

offer the tenderness of your longing and the

awkwardness of your struggle. And on these

paltry crumbs you can feed multitudes.


Just stay, and let the world feast on you.


Peg Syverson

October  18, 2008


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