What a deep sweetness to discover that Tara Brach, a teacher I admire greatly for her books Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion, read one of my poems to close a meditation yesterday. She read “The Question,” which is in James Crews‘ lovely new anthology The Path to Kindness. You can also find it on my blog, link below. It was inspired by my beloved mentor/friend/soul sister Jude Jordan Kalush who told me the question she asks herself–“Is this the path of love”–while we were at a dance recital several years ago. I loved listening to Brach’s meditation on kindness and tender awareness … and then to hear the poem in her warm, calm voice, well, it was a giant gift to me. Perhaps you will enjoy hearing her, too …
for Jude Jordan Kalush, who asked me the question
All day, I replay these words:
Is this the path of love?
I think of them as I rise, as
I wake my children, as I wash dishes,
as I drive too close behind the slow
blue Subaru, Is this the path of love?
Think of these words as I stand in line
at the grocery store,
think of them as I sit on the couch
with my daughter. Amazing how
quickly six words become compass,
the new lens through which to see myself
in the world. I notice what the question is not.
Not, “Is this right?” Not,
“Is this wrong?” It just longs to know
how the action of existence
links us to the path to love.
And is it this? Is it this? All day,
I let myself be led by the question.
All day I let myself not be too certain
of the answer. Is it this?
Is this the path of love? I ask
as I wait for the next word to come.