Manna Meditations

storm passing over …

Manna Meditations, Day 37


The sky is bruised black in places … and still, the light shines through:

Think, for a moment, about what this might mean.


Thoughts in Progress


A black-and-white photograph of a pale rose, the focus lightly blurred, the petals unfurling.

Come in, Love,
and shake the rain
from your shoulders.

Come —
let the storm lash
the panes of the windows,
the thunder rattle
the bones of the house.
Here we’ll make Quiet¬†
the way some people
make Love.

(I’ll tell you a secret:
Sometimes they’re one & the same.)

Let’s not talk¬†of the¬†world
outside the door —
the storm has snapped
the wires to this place,
and no outside voices
can reach us.

We will not eat at the table, 
but here on the floor,
the blanket smoothed out,
the glass bowl full of
petals and candlelight.

There’s a broken husk
of pomegranate.



The still air empty between us,
and the invitation 
to fill it.

Hush. ‚̧


Everyday Magic

After the Storm

The story you’re about to read is a metaphor.

It’s also true.


The storm comes yesterday out of the West, where the sunset should be. ¬†Instead, there’s a fast-moving bank¬†of black clouds. ¬†I feel it as a pressure behind my eyes first, and then the first clap of thunder cracks over the horizon.

I take a glass of wine with me out onto the little back stoop … lean my arms against the railing and look out over the valley, like someone who’s come to watch the most¬†primal sort of exhibition.

(I’ve always been like this — both terrified of storms and drawn irresistibly into them.)

The clouds churn behind the trees; lightning zags close. ¬†I should go inside, but I don’t. ¬†I can’t look away.

I wait, and wait, until an invisible wall of air slams into the big oak and then the beech, bending them backwards, thrashing through the limbs.  The wind presses me to the screen door at my back and I gasp.

I Sing the Body Electric — all the neurons inside me crackling and standing at attention.

I am still singing when the rain comes roaring through the trees.


Two hours¬†later, I walk out the front door and see this, left just beside the stoop like a fragile, bejeweled gift, its message still mysterious …¬†


This much I know: ¬†even the most reckless things can sometimes leave a little gentleness and beauty in their wake. ‚̧




The Way of Escape

You find yourself
in a windowless room —
the walls crumbling plaster, gray.

(I know this because I am there too).

You don’t know¬†how long you’ve been there,¬†but you know it’s been¬†a long time, because¬†there’s a hunger¬†in the back of your eyes: ¬†for color, light —¬†carmine, sun-yellow,¬†cobalt.

Your body is stiff, hunched, the bones nearly bent. The ceiling is too low for you to stand, the walls too close for you to lie straight.

Even your breath feels bound.

But there’s a¬†sledgehammer — ¬†(do you see it?) — maybe it looks like¬†a paintbrush,¬†or a pen.¬†Maybe the handle¬†is wrapped in¬†ribbons,¬†or lace.¬†Maybe it takes the form of¬†a guitar,¬†a garden spade — It could look like anything.

You already know.

Take it in your hands. (The art is the way out.)

Lift it — feel the¬†counterbalance of its¬†heavy head,¬†its long handle.

You do not have to be
You do not have to be
You do not have to be
an expert.

You just have to be¬†desperate.¬†Which — look around —¬†you are.

Gray bare walls,
(The art is the way out)
Gray lightless ceiling,
(Lift it now, 
pull back your arms)
That thirst in your throat
(Lift it),
That hunger,
oh, God —

The art is the way out.