Day 13: Attention

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The day started gray and stayed that way.  But it didn’t matter to me.  I was inside, in a beautiful building, working with a group of very smart women and one man, making plans to make a difference.  The discussion was energizing, exciting, challenging and expansive.  By the time the meeting was over and I started my drive home, it was almost dark.  Or dark already, but not night.  Just dark, rain starting, low clouds, dimness everywhere.

Now it’s black dark, night, no moon light coming through the thick clouds.  The house is so quiet it’s humming.

“I promise to be as present as possible in each moment,” I said to David when we had our wedding ceremony on Thanksgiving.  “I promise to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and celebration for whatever is right in our lives.”

Those were promises to myself too, to appreciate what is and what I can imagine, to savor both reality and possibility.  To feel this darkness around me, on this last, longest night before the tide of light shifts, and to let all the activity and generative thinking of the day seep away into a sweet sleepiness, a knowledge of a day well-spent, attended to and experienced, an awareness of how energy shifts from balance to swing to balance, the sun at the equinox moving to the sun at solstice, equal and short, equal and long, tracking back into place which is every place, because how the earth orbits and tilts and rotates is all the same, over and over, and delivers the marvels of sunrise and sunset and Orion appearing out the bathroom window on winter nights, an old companion, riding the night sky in the dark season, keeping the same course, keeping his arrow straight.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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