Tag Archives: Sweet Life

On being here now

church

This
{leafy cathedral}
is ten minutes from our apartment
in Japan,
just five minutes
from school.

I’ve been thinking about
this
more often
lately.

I’ve been craving more of
this.

Do you remember
The Little Prince
who set off
to visit
new planets
after his rose
disappointed him.
{As if he never told a lie!}

As a child I imagined
the Little Prince
in red Chuck Taylors
and a cape.
Speeding by planets
as if on a treadmill,
his cape in the air.

I’m pretty sure
that’s not
the image
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
had in mind
but
when you’re a kid,
you think what you think.

In grad school,
when I first learned
to traverse
the internet like space
I became the Little Prince.

{We were not all born
in net-time.}

I regarded with awe
the social media constellations:
facebook,
flickr,
twitter.
I had the power to visit,
to stay a while,
then leave.

And I saw that
the galaxy was amazing.
Vast and infinite.
I explored,
collected data.

Years passed.
The universe expanded,
demanded
to be read, learned, mastered
at warp speed.

An article of interest
led to another
and another
as I jumped.

An afternoon was gone.
Then a day.

Just
a hole
demanding
to be filled
and a worry.
What if I miss something
important
happening over there
while I am over here?

A strange race with my own heart

During my planet-jumping journey,
the bliss
of being witness
to everything
became a burden.

Sweeter things fell away.

That’s no way
for a Little Prince
to live.

I’ve had to
re-think my mission.
I need not be acquainted
with every electronic
star.

I need to be here now.

Here.
On this path
with my gentle man
and his orange knapsack.
I need to be in conversations
about fewer things
at greater depth.

When I was a little girl
my mother
{who also loves to read}
would encourage me
to put down my book.
“Go outside
and play.”

It’s taken
half a lifetime
to understand
what she meant.

Thin Places: Shimoda, Japan

7There are thin places
on earth
where heaven
seems close enough to touch.

There are probably more than we know.

In March,
for my birthday,
we spent a weekend
in a small hotel
outside Shimoda.
Snuggled at the bottom
of the Izu Peninsula,
the port of Shimoda was,
in the 1850s,
the first to welcome
American trade.

The invisible door
between Japan
and the rest of the world
slid open.

Shimoda became the place
the gods went to frolic
and fish.

Ohama Beach is where they propose marriage
to their partner-gods.
The light in this place
makes one want to say YES!

On endless summer days,
the dark-skinned teenagers of the gods
run through burning sand to the sea
with surfboards of magenta
and apple green.
Brave wave-riders,
they try to enter heaven
through the thin space
between the blues.

Every Shimoda moment is a poem.

Here are a few for you.

Love,
Monna

xoxo

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