Holding the Bowl of the Heart

And the Third Circle is the Heart
by Beth Weaver-Kreider
(from Holding the Bowl of the Heart)

“The eye is the first circle, the horizon which it forms is the second: and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heart, too, is a circle,
the horizon expanding to infinity
or contracting into a small black hole.

The work, you say, is to keep opening,
casting that radius wider
at every turn of the wheel,
to hold everything within its protective arc,
the bright flowers and the white-hot stones.

You looked through the windows
into the soul
and saw.

Saw the round bud of the heart
opening, itself a circle,
the radius expanding.

When I begin to say
that I am you and you are I
then the pain that you wear
must wound me too.

This is the work,
to widen that horizon that lies within
to hold the world, if we must.

Speak your story.
Let it fall like a stone
into the quiet pool of my heart.
The circles expand out and outward,
not matter but pure energy,
more doors opening.

I see you.
I feel you.
I know you.
I recognize myself in you.

These are the doors we step into.
These are the circles we enter.

This is the burden
we choose
to carry:

To be watchers,
weight-bearers,
to inwardly transmute
these stones we are given to bear
into gems of great value.

To keep soft,
to let the ego
slip down
into a weightless place.


Gratitude List:
1. Affirmations from strangers
2. Possibilities
3. Cookies
4. Rest
5. The way words and memories and dreams appear from the past, like wrinkles in the fabric of time, so that what happened five or ten or thirty years ago informs the moment. Living in layers. (I managed to quote both Madeleine L’Engle and Stanley Kunitz in that one.)
May we walk in Beauty!


“The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example. If they see their mothers and other women in their lives going forward despite fear, they’ll know it is possible.” —Gloria Steinem


“You can learn to be lucky. It’s not a mystical force you’re born with, but a habit you can develop. How? For starters, be open to new experiences, trust your gut wisdom, expect good fortune, see the bright side of challenging events, and master the art of maximizing serendipitous opportunities.” —Rob Brezsny


“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.” —Linda Hogan


“You choose to be a novelist, but you’re chosen to be a poet. This is a gift and it’s a tremendous responsibility. You have to be willing to give something terribly intimate and secret of yourself to the world and not care, because you have to believe that what you have to say is important enough.” —May Sarton


“There is indeed a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, cultures, languages, ancient skills, and visionary wisdom. Quelling this flame and reinventing the poetry of diversity is perhaps the most important challenge of our time.” —Wade Davis, The Wayfinders


“. . .war against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. . . . [E]very war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defence against a homicidal maniac. . . .
The essential job is to get people to recognise war propaganda when they see it, especially when it is disguised as peace propaganda.” —George Orwell

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