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Dedicated to Marsha M. Linehan

Reach for the Sky Week6 10-18-2012

She says to them on her walk,
You need not wring your hands today
I will wring my own for you.

A deep warm feeling spreads from my core
Never have I heard such love and kindness before
The image of a girl flashes; she is barely fourteen
Locked in a ward, the girl looks like me

She tells us
I like to invite them to dance with me
They have so few opportunities
To ever feel connected to others

Step side to side. Turn. Step side to side.

Tears well up in my eyes
I let them slide softly
down my surprised cheeks
like unfamiliar visitors,
they move to explore
Its okay to come out
Just remember to pay attention
To where you are: here, connected
I say to my tears

I notice my lips begin to
curve upward at the corners
an unusual pair, tears and a smile
And, yet, here I am with
no borders, no lines
no Judging designs

I am here, now.
I realize it is where I have always been
And know it is where I will always be

Step side to side. Turn. Step side to side.

These tears are not for anger
These tears are not for bitterness
These tears are not for fear
These tears are not for shame
These tears are for grief
for every person who has ever
felt disconnected, abandoned, alone

I have an urge to console my pain
It startles me like a loud knock at the door
I answer it, saying to my pain
I am sorry that I hurt you
for leaving you locked out in the cold
I am sorry that I punished you
and did not care what you feel
I say to myself

Step side to side. Turn. Step side to side.

she says,
Now, it is time to dance together
invite anyone you like, dead or alive
Compassion invites me
I invite myself, my mother, father, and sisters
I invite everyone in the room
all in front, back, and those surrounding me
I invite all whom I ever loved and lost
I invite all who ever felt pain in response to my actions
I invite all those whose actions ever caused me pain

I invite all the souls this world has ever lost
to suicide, neglect, indifference and/or abuse
I invite all those who are and who have ever
been removed from society for a state of mind.
I invite all those who continue to insist that
seclusion leads to more safety that suffering.

Step side to side. Turn. Step side to side.

wonder Grief, acceptance, gratitude
Grief, wonder acceptance gratitude

My lips tilt upward at the corner
Though there are tears in my eyes
A hundred souls, a hundred hugs
thirteen thousand and three days
to find and accept that I am me

Step side to side. Turn. Step side to side.
Thank you, compassion, for dancing with me.

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