POEM: The Deep End

The Deep End

I fell
Off
The deep end
Only too narrowly
Missing a shallow end
As was my aim
The river is wide
Full of whys
Like some
Chicken of the see
Not to swim
To the other side
To get over
The waterfall
Planted from above
To churning, disorienting bellow
Grasping for breath
Vainly trying to separate
Water and light
Wallowing in a rainbow
How becoming
I am
Proclaiming
Deep and wide
Once
Is enough
Or, yearning only
Too due it
Again

The deep part of the river of life is the center.  The point is not merely to cross over the other side — as if efficiency in this matter were some virtue — but to experience it longly and deeply.  Of course, going over the deep end in a river is a waterfall.  Again, the point is not merely to “get over it,” but to embrace it in awe of its churning and disorienting bellow.  Drink life in, even choke on it, rather than leave via a “shallow end.” Accepting the sheer beauty of life in its totality can be a powerful spiritual practice leading to more robust experience — though some may recognize that you have went off the deep end.  Without incessantly trying to break life into good parts to be sought and bad parts to be avoided we can better appreciate the epic arc of life, and our own story within it.  Of course, lived well or poorly, most of us can identify with both feelings that “once is enough” and “let’s do it again!”  May it be so.

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