The edge of what you don’t know and cannot feel

Then you make lists of those you loved (some true) and
those who loved you back and suddenly you understand

distance and space and curvature, the bigness of small
things and how to solve for x. Doesn’t a lifetime only

get you to the edge of what you don’t know and cannot
feel? God, for instance, is a mango tree, flowering in

season, interrupted by pests or a lot of sunshine or a
little rain. Four years ago, a couple made crazy adulterous

love under one tree and it refused to fruit all summer (this,
entirely, is true). There is a reason why broken parts

together weigh more than the whole (this too, is true,
because to know grief is to know heaviness, to know how

to trap air in your open fist). But all this, because I was
sitting under a mango tree, praying it would not rain (not

true for clouds are clouds), because so much comes apart
when you have to run, mid-thought, to where it all began.

32 thoughts on “The edge of what you don’t know and cannot feel

  1. The judgemental tree that refused to fruit made me smile. The wisdom of the natural world, lol. Always lovely to read you, Rajani.

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  2. An interesting question, Rajani: ‘Doesn’t a lifetime only / get you to the edge of what you don’t know and cannot / feel?’ We’ll never know everything, there’s no chance of that, so I’ve resigned myself to being satisfied with the little I do know. The lines that really resonate with me are:
    ‘There is a reason why broken parts
    together weigh more than the whole (this too, is true,
    because to know grief is to know heaviness, to know how
    to trap air in your open fist). ‘

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  3. The part about broken parts weighing more felt really strong to me. You can’t put things back together simply, even if you have all the parts.

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  4. The baggage that follows brokenness most be heavier than any other sort of bag. Perhaps, it has to do with the things the broken parts try to forget. Denial is rarely lighter than a feather (this, too, is true… really).

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  5. Perhaps the tree is reinforcing “judge not that ye be not judged”! At any rate, I enjoyed your train of thought. It was a good read.

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  6. This is absolutely stunning in its depth and philosophy, Rajani! 💝 I love; “Doesn’t a lifetime only get you to the edge of what you don’t know and cannot feel?”

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  7. Love this I love how you say that “There is a reason why broken parts together weigh more than the whole” so true and this is a brilliant image”to know how to trap air in your open fist”
    Enjoyed that the tree didn’t give fruit as well

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