Swinging with the Pendulum

The walls
of my inner room
are expandable.
They slowly breathe
in and out
over the course of a day.

As they contract,
the room gets heavier, denser—
moving around it a chore,
until sometimes all that is possible
is wallowing in the sludge.

But sooner or later they open—these walls,
        the ceiling—letting in light, air,
            a felt sense of the people around me,
                rivulets of real emotion,
            subtle vibrations of unknown origin,
        the ticker-tape of sensations as they
silently swirl through me.
        Now able to freely turn around inside myself, unstuck,
            slowly turning like a dervish, or a kaleidoscope,
                watching all the impressions coming in,
            and sending back out messages of beauty,
        curiosity, solidarity, hope.

Internal forces properly aligned,
I see this pendulum swinging back and forth,
see that little annoyances, big problems,
neither needs to be resisted—just dealt with,
knowing that they, too, will pass.

Like Count Basie’s band, a gentle
sense of forward motion takes over—
everything meshing smoothly.
The pendulum swings—mournful or buoyant,
each with its own kind of beauty—
like music, spreading out in all directions,
back toward its source.

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