the gift

My Contemporary Lit. teacher wants to enter my last essay in a contest.  That warms my heart.  Plus, a poem I wrote (the gift) was chosen to be in some literary rag at the college.  Which is funny, since I am definitely NOT a poet.  I wrote the poem to try to describe a mystical experience I had one day about 5 years ago, while driving in the rain.

I was just coming out of churchianity and my marriage…when I had a sudden opening of my mind.  It is really hard to explain.  I suddenly felt more myself, somehow.  I had lost myself and it was a coming back to me.  But then, caught up in the freedom of the moment, I was surprised by several minutes where I seemed to be all of my selves simultaneously.  The baby, the kid, the adolescent, the adult… I had the emotions, the thoughts of each period – all at the same time.  I can’t really describe it properly, which is why I tried to write it in a poem.  The poem sucks, really, but it does a better job of explaining, I think.

A Gift

I received a gift
while driving in the rain
great sheets of water
tires splashing through puddles
rain dancing on the roof

a swell of recognition
clear perception
seeing for the first time
in years, in decades

long captive in some dark space

released unexpectedly
awash with acute awareness
luminous cognition
a gift

harmonious continuity

I am all my past selves
at once:
the Self
beneath the self

I am a toddler

gazing with wonderment at the world,
a grade school bookworm
solving a mystery with Nancy Drew,
an idealistic youth
imagining peace on earth,
an escaped hostage
drunk with freedom, scarred for life

I am all these selves

in one sparkling moment

I greet my past selves

and look out on the world

the intensity fades

but not the spark of integration
shimmering beneath the moment

I hope

for more such awakenings
dropping like coins in a well
when I am quiet and unsuspecting

I want
another impregnation
lucidity’s flame
penetrating time’s gates
lifting separation like a veil
uncovering my Self
a gift