The Words Under the Words

Feeling an exquisite tenderness the last day or so: one good cry and a weepiness that doesn’t quite want to let go, a body that’s tired and a little feverish. The chickens have entered into their first hard molt. Well, at least Ethel and Priscilla have–Roberta can’t be far behind. The temperature has dropped, it’s damp and spitting rain and sweet Ethel is missing a third of her feathers. My parents are having surgery on their cataracts this month–one eye a week for four weeks, each alternating turns. A high school friend’s father just passed yesterday. I give thanks for each visit with my folks now. None of us ever really know. We are infinite and impermanent all at once.

There is so much love–not just in my heart and in my life–but spilling over everywhere–that mostly I do not know how to speak of it without sounding like I’ve gone mad. I barely know how to give thanks for it. I just do my damnedest to get out of the way and let it flow through me. Some days I have to work not to bowl over folks who aren’t quite ready to receive that tidal wave.

I’ve wanted to write about Tunisia, about the light that the people and land there carry, about literally seeing it rise off of the ground and food and bodies as though it was steam in a sauna. I’ve wanted to write about how precious this time is–each of us in various stages of profoundly realizing the true nature of our being: perfectly pure, unborn and undying, luminous and free. I know some days, when the distortions arise for release–when previously fragmented and disowned aspects of self come up for integration–that can look like overwhelming emotions and a body that can’t seem to catch up. I know some days it looks to some of you more like everything falling apart than coming together. But all I can see is light exploding everywhere.

And though I can barely find them–I hope you can hear the words under the words.

[For those of you who are interested, ask me about one of the largest ET colonies on the planet that is anchored in Tunisia or the hybrid nature of the Berber tribe and the Touaregs as human guardians of the primary ascension timeline.  Or ask about the unfathomable collapse of lower timelines or DNA activations we experienced there or light structures we worked with. I’ll gladly respond in another post.]

My grandmother’s hands recognize grapes,
the damp shine of a goat’s new skin.
When I was sick they followed me,
I woke from the long fever to find them
covering my head like cool prayers.

My grandmother’s days are made of bread,
a round pat-pat and the slow baking.
She waits by the oven watching a strange car
circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,
lost to America. More often, tourists,
who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.
She knows how often mail arrives,
how rarely there is a letter.
When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,
listening to it read again and again
in the dim evening light.

My grandmother’s voice says nothing can surprise her.
Take her the shotgun wound and the crippled baby.
She knows the spaces we travel through,
the messages we cannot send—our voices are short
and would get lost on the journey.
Farewell to the husband’s coat,
the ones she has loved and nourished,
who fly from her like seeds into a deep sky.
They will plant themselves. We will all die.

My grandmother’s eyes say Allah is everywhere, even in death.
When she talks of the orchard and the new olive press,
when she tells the stories of Joha and his foolish wisdoms,
He is her first thought, what she really thinks of is His name.
“Answer, if you hear the words under the words—
otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,
difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones.”

~Naomi Shihab Nye


Sunset over Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. October 2017.