A life's moment of measure

4:34am             (@ Conca di marini on the Amalfi coast)

I’m leaning forward on the metal railing of a terrace
a balcony seemingly in suspense between heaven and earth
The top of the cliff a thousand steps above my balcony
The Adriatic Sea seven hundred below
heaven and sea are connected here only by a winding string of stairs
whose existence is contingent upon stray reflected lights of the night.

Here and now.
this is a place of intimate grace
like no other I have been
…a stirring of the senses
a purring within the soul
like a gentle breeze that causes the chest to flare
and the eyelids to close
Not to see what they cannot see
But to lend vision to an exploration
Of being, cause, reason, soul, spirit and life.

…All is in good measure here
there is no overload of the senses
no urge to fight
nor to flight
emotions stretch toward introspection
but gently
No rush to determine or feel
Only to bathe in the temerity of the moment
and the solemnity of this grace
A spiritual transaction more potent perhaps
by the muting of everything other

On the stairway below
A single leaf clatters head over heels
while others await their turn
for the gentle breeze to lift them too
This accepting, welcoming breeze
asks me neither to roll up my sleeves
nor to pull together my lapels.


All vision is becalmed
‘tween the blueish grey of the sea
and the steely gray of the sky
decorated at their farthest extent by the twinkling
Of candlelights along the the Capri shore
And necklaces of pearl along Sardinia’s coast.

The firmament is not crowded today…
no complicated arrangements of stars
no familiar constellations seek my attention
yet they are in attendance

I see
Terraces, man made
with gardens of fruit
to fill the bottles of wine and limoncello
I smell
Rosemary and basil in the wind
that will flavor the breads at dinner
This is not luck
It is fortune that I am here
to revel in the ethereal
if only for a little while…
My destiny is not the same
as that of those who inherit these balconies more permanently
But that is ok too, today.
In this space I find a peace
no disenchantment
no regrets
no glory
no celebration
Only a gentle gratitude
a quieted mind
and my serene heart
fitting in its small appropriate inconspicuous place
In the infinite picture.
I find myself making no prayer for fame or position
no supplication for health and longevity
no plea for pleasure or distance from pain…
Nothing comes
Except a calm of being one with the universe
With creation.

I may never come here again
But I care not that I must leave here in the morrow
for on this balcony
At 4:34am
with heaven and sea as my witnesses  
I have taken the measure of my life
considered my mission
evaluated my soul, and
fortified my spirit.


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