A day came when the world stopped
It must have stopped slowly, with no great sense of upheaval as the planet’s carefree tumbling temporarily ceased
Your neighbourhood appeared just like it did a minute past
That lady walking, hooded child in hand, had stayed upright;
Buildings remained elegantly balanced on their nineteenth century foundations
The sky still shone a winter evening pinkish blue
No apocalyptic winds raged, the birds still sang.
In fact the birds still flew, and you had a hunch the lady and the child had tiptoed on a step or two –
Did the sun just drop one inch toward the night, and then another?
Perhaps the world hadn’t stopped at all? But something –
Something had taken on the feel of a safe at the bottom of a lake
Half buried, immobile, letting nothing in or out, keeping all its secrets, still and solid.
Perhaps it was you that had stopped?
Perhaps you’d handed over for a breathslength the fistfuls of deep care you drag behind
Their whispering insistent scrapes that normally reminded you to worry
Settling into stationary silence
The ward of some magician who gave you in return
A pause so strangely quiet that you swore you heard space shake, saw its very outline
Felt the universe about to crack, to open up its secrets from the deep
And you would be the only one to know before it tore itself apart –
Or was that just your heartbeat? Your tired eyes?
Perhaps, in fact, you hadn’t stopped?
Your hands still trembled, blood moved in your veins, a dry eyeball made you reach…
Perhaps you didn’t need to stop.
Perhaps the world need never stop to feel into that space beneath the chatter and the fury
The merciless but so completely necessary asks of daily life
That sacred space so far beneath all notions of stopping, or going, or moving, or time, or sound, or self –
Perhaps that space is living in these movements – it is the universal revelation
That we’re all poised to hear at any time, in stillness or in motion
In every single instant the world stops on its axis, savoring the freshness of the moment just gone by
Spins on to breathe that life into the next
Never really moving, never really still.