Suchness in the Vastness

A Song Learned at Summer Camp


In the land of Odin,
there is a mountain,
one thousand miles in the air.
From edge to edge,
this mountain measures,
one thousand miles square.

A little bird comes a winging
once every million years or so.
Sharpens his beak on the mountain,
and then he quickly disappears.

And when this mountain,
has worn away
this to eternity shall seem,

but one single day.


  Return,  8.12.10

 Return, 8.12.10

A Journal Entry, 07.08.10

And so the suchness, the being, the soul that is Halia came into being, was known and experienced and treasured by me, loved by her father, brother, grandparents, aunts, and many others...and then returned to the plenum. Always known, remembered, loved. A suchness as distinct as any other, not as formed or filled in as many others but somehow just as distinct. 

And in the broad sweep, like in the "Land of Odin," all these suchnesses rise and fall as part of the whole. Halia: 21 weeks; my cousin Paul: 16 years; my relationship with my first husband: ~10 years; Papa Nate: 82 years; Grandfather Webb: 81 years; Cousin Emily: 84 years; Nana Nuni: 86 years; Grandmother Webb: 90 years; Rosanna as a granddaughter: 39 years. Rise and fall. Come into being and return to the ether. All overlapping with me, before I too return.  

The amazing thing about knowing Halia is that her whole formation took place inside me. From the coming into being until the death, all within me. And I held that wholeness, that completeness. And there is something oddly satisfying about its totality. It feels entirely different from my experience with G where I had him within and since then have been forced bit by bit to let him go and grow on his own--knowing, hoping, wanting his life to extend far beyond my own. 

From my vantage point as Halia's mother, I feel like I can better see the entirety of each of our lives, of villages, of civilizations, of species, of ecosystems. Of the earth itself? Well, that is a bit much! 

And I hope that from this big vantage point that I won't feel so sad, that I won't grasp so much onto the particular. And yet I know that this vantage point does not in any way diminish the importance of each suchness or my attachment to the ones I know and love. Both are true: the particular and the vastness. And the particular isn't all grief and grasping; it's also wondrous beauty, the awesome power of creation.

  A Broad Sweep  , 8.10.10

 A Broad Sweep , 8.10.10

Day 26 of 31, 23 Cheshvan 5774