For When People Ask
I want a word that means okay and not okay, a word that means devastated and stunned with joy. I want the word that says I feel it all all at once. The heart is not like a songbird singing only one note at a time, more like a Tuvan throat singer able to sing both a drone and simultaneously two or three harmonics high above it— a sound, the Tuvans say, that gives the impression of wind swirling among rocks. The heart understands the swirl, how the churning of opposite feelings weaves through us like an insistent breeze leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves, blesses us with paradox so we might walk more openly into this world so rife with devastation, this world so ripe with joy.
This poem is from A Hundred Falling Veils. It is reproduced here with permission.