This is another poem from Sacred Conversations: Dialogues with Soul. I speak in regular font, and Soul speaks in italics. I also indent two spaces for Soul speak.
Strains, Stains, and Rhyming Conclusions
It seems that strains –
ongoing situations, problems, and concerns –
Are you asking us why there is human suffering?
Strains often seem like unnecessary suffering:
the bad habits of unshakable perception.
We carry strains of relationship,
strains of occupation, and strains
that demonstrate how we relate
to each other and the world generally…
Now you’ve narrowed the focus.
Some strains are part of a process of growth.
Some strains are the result of getting stuck.
Some strains are intended to broaden perspective.
Some strains are like a stain that can no longer be washed out.
I was looking for that Miracle Wash
product that I was hoping you sold.
We peddle a great many products.
We’re not so sure your life requires strain removal.
And yet we admit that strain is built into aging –
not just the body, but how the fabric of life wears thin over time.
And then there are the circumstances
that hold unknowable consequences…
Let us be clear. Life is both joy and effort.
The impersonal strains built into existence,
such as weather and survival, require effort.
Snow falls and needs to be removed or negotiated.
You need to do so with skillful means and available resources.
There are personal strains.
Strains of accommodating love,
strains of comprehension,
strains of personal verses group dynamics.
The universe intends that participants of life make effort.
It does not intend that the weight of strains bowl you over,
or that you roll a boulder in meaningless circles.
When in doubt, embrace the forces of perseverance
and forbearance to weather a storm until it clears.
The world presents you with both Beauty and Danger.
Make the personal impersonal: that’s non-attachment.
Make the impersonal personal: that’s becoming more connected.
The strains and pains fall mainly with the change.
We do have a Miracle Wash actually.
Cleanse your strains with thanks and forgiveness –
and a dash of compassionate grief.
Speaking of change, did you just
change the topic from strains to forgiveness?
Wash your strains in the river.
In any weather, forgiveness is a feather.
I’ll buy that. We can make our poetry together.