That’s what they say about relationships,
said my friend. They are like sandpaper,
wearing us down to expose the core.
There have been other times when I would
have argued with her, referring to the velvet
of communion, the thin silks of unfolding,
the limbs melting, self melting, fear melting,
the layered weaving of breath and breath,
and feeling the rub, all I could say was yes.
The Celts spoke of “thin places,” places like caves or wells or other special sites where the boundary between the mundane and magical was permeable. … a “place” where we can discover that there is fundamentally no separation between ourselves and others, that what we seek is always so close, always right here.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, An Introduction to Zen (Tricycle, Spring 2009)
are where we least expect, perhaps
next to the meat counter
when your daughter is shrieking
because your son leans too close to her in the cart
and the woman in the blood-stained apron
leans across the glass, smiles, hands you
a hunk of roasted turkey breast
and says, “Here, honey, I think it will help.”
And the summer carries on.
In other rows, peaches grow red-cheeked
and sweetness gathers in the pears.
Surrounded by pleasure, still
we choose to mourn what isn’t there.