by Elizabeth Cunningham

between summer and fall
between one political convention and the other
between the full blue moon and the next new moon
between holiday and school
between breath in, breath out
between tide in, tide out
between young and not so young
between not so old and old
between labor contractions
between life and death
between knowing and not knowing
between toil and rest
between harvest and fallow field
between flying and falling
between waking and dreaming and the reverse
between disasters seen, unseen and unforeseen
between miracles, the same
between notes and grace notes
between the wide world and the small one
between the great silences that shelter us all
As I write, it is Labor Day. I am between chapters of the mystery (the novel-in-progress) but perhaps also the mystery. I started working on this poem a couple of days ago to try to express my sense of what may be a time of the year, a particular time in my life, or a time in our collective life. Whatever 2012 is or isn’t according the Mayan calendar and the plethora of interpretations, it is an election year for the presidency of the United States of America. The economy is in peril and many people remain without viable employment on this day that celebrates workers. Rights that we fought for and believed we had secured are under attack. It is another year of extreme and disastrous weather for many parts of the country.
Like many people, I often feel I don’t do enough to address the challenges of our time and/or I don’t know what to do.  So I just keep doing something, anything, and succeed mainly at wearing myself out. In the last month I have had my tenth bout of Lyme disease. Between the disease itself and the powerful antibiotics, I have experienced a mind-altering fatigue.  I have not taken to my bed (aerobic physical activity helps destroy lyme spirochetes). But I have been pausing more often. Sitting still and gazing. Yesterday I saw a ruby-throated humming bird not more than a foot away from my face. I have spent a lot of time looking at the reflection of sky in the water. Sometimes I just sit and close my eyes and let drawing breath be enough. Are nonattachment and exhaustion next of kin? I don’t know. I am finding it helpful to pause. Not to forget the sorrows of the world, but to remember the underlying, encompassing mysteries. Not sure I am being coherent. All I mean to say is: pause.
That said: here are few announcements and invitations. Please do visit my new website, if you haven’t yet and subscribe to receive updates. Black Earth Institute is featuring a project called Thirty Days Hath September, 30 poems by 30 poets to balance and reflect on all the campaign speak with which we are being bombarded. My poem, a ghazal entitled…Who Will Listen will be posted on my birthday, September 27th.  You can subscribe to Black Earth Institute’s blog   to have these poems delivered to your mailbox.
I will be writing quarterly for Feminism andReligion, a refreshing and thought-provoking blogsite. Please do visit. My next post will be published on October 20th. It is possible that Maeve (who is alive and well and trotting the globe) will write it for me.
Local folks, I will be at COTA (Celebration of the Arts) in New Paltz on Saturday, October 6th,  performing from an early novel How to Spin Gold and talking about fairytales. On Sunday, November 11th, I will be speaking at the Pine Plains Library. Details forthcoming at my website .
I am having fun writing the mystery novel, as yet untitled. After writing in Maeve’s  voice for twenty years, it is quite a change to write in the 3rd person again from four different points of view. More on that another time. Suggestions on topics for this blog are welcome. Mostly I want to be in touch and wish you a beautiful Autumn.
Note: even though I have a new email address, I have not been able to persuade to make the change, so this blog will be delivered to you from my old address.

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Unknown September 4, 2012 - 1:34 pm

Seems to be difficult to persuade the dot.coms of this world of changing realities. After all, that requires PEOPLE responding, and they have to be hired and paid (heaven forbid!)

Yes, a pause is probably something everyone should have but few take until it's too late, like my 99+year old mother. So, wisdom, or Lyme's: you're leading the way.

The world needs a pause, but it won't get one.

jane louise September 8, 2012 - 5:16 am

your pause gives me pause <3 may your Lyme disease pass without much more hard stuff on your system <3

Brooke September 10, 2012 - 4:22 am

Sorry about the belated nature of my comment. Just getting back to the computer after summer travels and school for kids getting under way! Thank you for the reminder to pause, and that way in which you capture those in between moments, that I'd barely notice, except for the tug they have toward the more active moment. And yet your words make me think it might be all about the pause. Of course. Always so much simpler than I'd think–catches me off guard:) I wish you all the best with your bout of illness, and send you well wishes for well-being. I am so thankful to know you and your words, and I can't wait to read more. Sending much love.

Voluptuous Nicole September 20, 2012 - 11:36 am

I had Lyme's only once, which was more than plenty Dear Elizabeth. I am so sorry to hear of your illness.


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