In my earliest days, I studied
like the joker in the watchtower:
“there must be some way outta here,
too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.”
Piano scales soothed me, even at age four:
diligently creating music and order
in the chaos I called home.
I was the optimist
learning astrology, tarot,
trying to find a way to see things clearly,
to answer all the burning questions.
And every time I said, I know this,
I fell asleep, sucked back into the confusion.
Now in the second half of my life
— and yes, I fully expect to reach 100,
I study the questions that cannot be answered,
and the answers that cannot be questioned.
I don’t know you
and I can’t ever know you,
so surprise me and say anything.
I study now
the inner space, as wide
as the night sky deep
in primitive wilderness;
the wild genius;
the doors of the heart,
what makes them clang shut,
what makes them spring open.
I study the connections between us,
how I can tune into you,
into the angst of your long-dead great grandmother.
I study mysteries with no intention
of ever arriving at the dead
place of I know.
I look intently at pain
and dark places,
with a childlike wonder,
the joy of asking what is this,