Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The egg that isn't all it's cracked up to be....

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin

The prompt for my Monday night writing group was an egg. I arrived late, when everyone else was already writing. Nerissa placed an egg in my hand. I whispered to her, "Can I throw it?". She whispered back, "No". So instead I felt its weight and shape and all around space inside my fingers. When I sat down to write, I was thinking about circles that weren't quite circles. I was thinking of the first moments of birth when this precious baby boy was rocked awake. And I was well aware of the unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable stretching and questioning and growing that the universe has in store for me and a couple of people I dearly love.

In any case, what began as "The Egg that Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be" ended as:

The (Irregular) Circle of Life

You’d have to say the beginning
starts when you
first notice light,
squinting your eyes
strained in the first minutes to make
sense of voices and those five small crevices
set in those bobbing circles
that want you to know,
and try to reach you from within.

From the beginning your turns are
every which way,
on how hard you hit the walls
and how softly you bounce off them.
The same creviced bobbing circles protect
or abandon you during those bounces.
It makes a difference
because the hardest bounces don’t heal well
and the soft ones push you forward.

Those turns and bounces
spiral and build upon eachother
until maybe when you are 12
you smoke a cigarette or
sneak that candy bar in your knapsack
and that’s another beginning
because you have begun
little deceptions you can call your own.

In those moments you know
but can’t describe the sweetness and light
you will revisit for all of your life.
In those moments
you decide
the shape of the circle--
the vessel really—
that will carry you home.

Some of your turns
are as wide as every possible outcome
and others
so narrow
you squeeze by,
your breath compacted so tightly,
that when it cannot expand
you know you just have to move
or you will be in that space forever.

The day your boundaries blur
and you find yourself drifting downstream
with others around you—
on that day another beginning
carries you to the spot where
destiny meets opportunity.
And there you are,
wondering again
who wants you to know,
and why it matters.

When you grow up,
by some standard anyway,
your circle may be closed shut
so your community and beliefs
are safe and firm.
Or by then you have had
the misfortune, if it is that,
where little point a and little point b
fail to reach each other.

When that happens
you are born again,
again noticing light,
and squinting your eyes,
straining in the first minutes to make
sense of voices and crevices
that want you to know,
that want to reach you from within.

And at that moment, if you are lucky enough,
the irregular circle that lacks a beginning
and lacks an end
and fails to protect,
this circle that is broken —
this irregular circle--
becomes a portal for
every step you will now take,
for every mystery and
every vision
that every person
who ever loved you
will tell you
if they could
is the truest straightest
to guide your way home.


  1. This was an amazing piece and I would give it an a+. All from looking at an egg...wow.

  2. The Anais Nin quote reminds me of the following (no idea whose it is): People won’t pursue their callings until the fear of doing so is finally exceeded by the pain of not doing so. I reached that point, so figure I'm an authority! :)

    Must catch up on the rest of your always-inspiring blog now...

  3. WOW! i love this!!! you did good! i love the part "in those moments you know but can't describe the sweetness and light, you will revisit for all of your life. Also the last paragraph is so moving!!! The whole thing is really beautiful!

  4. WOW simply beautiful KJ!


  5. Hello K.J.

    What a lovely poem you wrote,
    Again it gets my vote.

    Your grandson is lucky indeed,
    It seems he won't be in need,

    Of true and everlasting love,
    For as he lay in his crib it hovers above.

    In the faces of his Mom and Dad,
    And the other lovely ladies whose faces are never sad.

    You sure made a great poem out of an egg,
    If it were me I would have scrambled it before it could beg.

    Faint is my attempt at rhyming,
    Because the sun isn't shining.

  6. tammy, the first a+ i've gotten since grad school--thanks!

    oh yes, andrea. you and i both reached that point. and as hard as it may be sometime, no regrets, eh?

    val,thank you so much. i love compliments from you. they mean alot.

    keshi, thank you very much!

    anonymous, ha! you haven't fooled me for one minute. your timing is funny because i came across an anonymous comment on one of my favorite blogger's site. what a co-incidence! know what really gave you away?--scrambling the egg. it is SOOO you....


  7. Dear KJ,

    Why would scrambling the egg give me away?
    Everybody does it anyway?

    I think you got it all wrong,
    The other anonymous comment was a song.

    One more wrong guess,
    In your hands you will find a mess!.

  8. The only thing more beautiful than this poem is having KJ read it.

  9. There are no boundaries to your talent kj. None at all. I loved this piece.