An Exaltation of Particulars

My prescription glasses are made for a near-sighted woman, but for most of my life I have taken a long view, “seen” sweeping possibilities, open-ended choices, many right answers to a question.

So when a teacher or colleague told me I was being too general, too vague, the only response I could figure out was to name, elaborate, and catalogue the details.

This may have helped move a project along in the moment, but failed to solve my dilemma, which, I came to understand, was not so much a failure to see the details as a contempt for them.

The contempt was a shell covering fear – as a child it was much safer to avert my eyes from what was going on around me.

It was when I began to celebrate the details, a journey helped along by playing with images, in collage, and in poetry, that a new level of healing unfolded.

An exaltation of particulars

by Sara Eisenberg

You will not find me in a long silky skirt,

covered buttons to the throat,

hair piled gracefully on my head,

held in place with a carved horn

butterfly…the look of my maternal

grandmother Fanny in the one

surviving photograph.

These are not my mother’s dress-up pearls.

These are not Kali’s trophy skulls clad

in space, held in

the womb of time.

I stand on my own particulars,

pants loose at the waist,

jasmine tea fragrant in a small cup adorned

with rabbits dancing by moonlight,

sleepless nights an ally now,

and truths spoken haltingly but

spoken.

I lay up my treasures as working riches,

refuse to become a museum,

though I offer you these observations.

Visit again and again and the curator will offer a different gloss.

If you like, unstring these small transparencies,

fling them up into the sky:

their lights will arrange themselves for you,

constellations,

sky stories,

draw you back into your own.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Sharon Golden
    Reply

    Sara, first of all congratulations on the launching of your website. As I perused the pages of your site I felt more inspired and more appreciative of all that you bring to your work and all that you bring to the world at large. I can feel who you are coming through each page and each offering, from the offering of services to the provocative demonstration you provided to your writings you shine through. I know that all that you will reach with your site will be enhanced in their lives through connection with you.

    Sharon

    • Sara Eisenberg
      Reply

      Many thanks, Sharon…feels great to know we are still traveling together…and on we go!

  • Heather Dorst
    Reply

    Sara, This is a beautiful poem and a beautiful website! I love the feeling of being invited into the inquiry through the particulars of each of our lives. Thank you.

  • Sara Eisenberg
    Reply

    Thank you so much, Heather. It would be glorious if you would fling a few of the particulars that are dear to your own heart into the sky of this shared space, further inviting others to do the same.

  • Stephen Malls
    Reply

    This is my 11th year working with Sara on a regular basis. Year after year, she provides the container for me to do my work and unfold various parts of myself . In questioning myself about the reasons for our successful working relationship (and why I like being in her company), I invariably come back to the issue of TRUST. Trust most of all in the decency and goodness of who she is. What some call character. Something that may be hard to describe but as it is said, “I will recognize it when I see it”. I see it and feel it in everyone of our sessions. It never seems to have a “Time Out”. If Sara is having a good day, she is WITH me. If she is having a bad day, she is WITH me. The most amazing thing is that after all this time with her, I am unable to tell what kind of day she is having.

  • Sara Eisenberg
    Reply

    Thank you, Stephen, for honoring our long working relationship in this way.

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