From my notebook, composed at the Halifax Farmers’ Market this morning, around 7 AM.
~You can feel all kinds of gravity wherever you are everyday in different ways. And often, through human contact, you find your best gravity.~ poet Naomi Shihab Nye
While I do not yet know of its surrounding context which could hint at how the poet understood what she wrote, this quotation has nonetheless been inviting me to lengthen my mental stride into a steady strong lope of personal consideration these last days.
I’m quite taken with this expression of something I seem to know intuitively…. The beginning point for me was to think about gravity itself. First, there’s the basic physics of 9.8 m/s2 , an undeniable earthly truth. That’s one kind of gravity. Then, it feels like there is a sort of gravity that has to do with presence, with being grounded; a spacious gravity of invitation that draws together my sometimes disparate self.
And often, through human contact, you find your best gravity. When I am out of sorts, feeling nowhere and everywhere, it is often the simple strength of another’s presence that grounds me again. And the idea of ‘simple strength’ feels like an important thing…uncluttered presence… that might look or feel like a touch, a mug of tea, someone listening or asking a question, or someone able to simply be in the same space and let presence be enough…
And in their own way, aren’t each of these expressions of different aspects of Love…?
This kind of gravity of human contact is as organic and beautiful as the laws of physics. And it too serves to draw me down to my center. I know though experience that it can help my scattered thoughts, feelings, psyche, knit back together into some semblance of a whole. In that way, this best gravity also seems connected to direction and purpose. It is easier to get a unified self headed in a direction than it is to try and corral a body and spirit out of relationship with each other.
It occurs to me, as I sit here in the early morning light of the Farmers’ Market, that human contact of this sort—simple strength, invitational, uncluttered—can both bring us home and set us free.
Huh, what an idea—that these two things might not be so far removed from one another…
Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, O Lord… (Saint Augustine)
Be my gravity, O Lord…draw me homeward and set me free… And may I learn how to offer this organic force of humanity and divinity, this Love, to others in simple, uncluttered ways.