I have always moved through this world
as if afraid to touch anything in the china shop
of life--afraid that any sudden movements might
knock something off its shelf, and then. . .
Then something might get broken and
I'd have to pay for it. My pockets are empty.
I tiptoe, hoping that by the time I safely reach
the exit, I'll have found what is meant for me.
I have learned though, what lines the shelves
is always more durable and resilient than
I first thought, which sends a tiny crack of
regret through my body.
"You mean," I say to myself, "I could have
moved more freely all along? I could have
danced and shaken the floor with both joy and
sorrow without the consequences I imagined?"
I vow to myself (now that I've seen more than
half of the entire shop) to "let everything happen
to me, beauty and terror," as Rilke wrote; to free
what my mind imagines and my body feels.
Maybe all this china and crystal lining the path
of my life will resonate and sing along with my
joy and lament, and when I finally reach the exit
the kindly shopkeeper will say (a twinkle in both eyes):
"I hope you moved around enough to loosen
all the dust in this place, or maybe even
knock something off its shelf. That's the
only way things change around here."