The problems that you have are exactly what you need, said my friend, standing under the cold winter starlight, speaking of his own life, and I did not understand him.
I stand apart from yet do not wish to stand apart from what I do not understand. All those things that are on the other side.
I send things across to the other side on the understanding no one may be there and in the hope someone will be there.
I take nothing for granted and am grateful when something comes across from the other side and am never tempted to take anything that comes for granted.
I want the light never to be differentiated from the not-light and I understand that what I want has nothing to do with what is going to happen.
Tonight I hobbled out to do physical therapy downtown. The block where the place is located is the worst block in a town noted for its violence. I always limp in fear as I approach. Tonight there were sirens, flashing lights and cops running around in the street as I turned the corner to that block. Police cars were roaring up, slamming on brakes, policemen jumping out with weapons. Voices on loudspeakers, paramedics. Ambulances, fire trucks. As I hurried along I passed a glass front office building that should have been closed. Inside police were constraining a young man who was bleeding profusely from his face and body. I noticed that the street was slick with what I had thought to be puddles left by the heavy rains. In the bright lights from the police headlights, however, I now saw that the puddles were dark red pools of blood.
I don't know if I can remember the way things were before I began to remember how things are and I understand that I do not understand this.
(Here in the shadow.)
Star forming in the LH 95 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud: Hubble Space Telescope image, c. 2006 (ESA/Hubble)