• Rita Sommers-Flanagan

Just This

Light begins to come in the windows. John asks if this is the earliest I’ve ever drank my half-beer. God asks why I don’t want to talk. The faucet drips. The leaves have turned and fallen. Well. That’s just what happens.


I’ve wrapped myself in layers of blankets. The deteriorating cushion on the loveseat has shaped itself to my angles, and here I sit. Today, I do not need to talk or move. The toast is just right. The suchness and otherness of the world is not my concern. I’m not even my own concern. This is just what is.


Moments from now there will be wind. News. Confusion. Beauty. Hours from now, someone will play a violin, a train will be late, a gun will go off, a declaration of love will cover a multitude of sins. I will tune in and out, find God under a striped rock, laugh out loud in a way that will show my yellowing teeth, and I won’t care. I can already tell these things are unavoidable. In fact, I welcome them all.


Hello there, frost-bitten earth. How’s it going, scowling neighbor? What’s happening, you addicts and nurses, slouchers and dancers, lined-up children and barking dogs, you readers and writers, sayers and prayers, lovers and haters and wandering souls? Isn’t it something that we share this clean air and another funky morning floating in space? Isn’t it amazing that we’ve imagined each other, found a way out of the night, into something resembling consciousness? Yes, it certainly is, I tell myself. And I know the others agree.



God sits quietly. No comment. No need. No intrusion. No rejection. Just God. Just day. I’m confident I can dress myself and venture forward. I can choose my shoes, and find relatively safe places to put my feet. I can do this. You can do this. And this is the foundation of all that is. All that ever will be. Amen.



Rita Sommers-Flanagan is a clinical psychologist, author, jogger, gardener, weed-puller, and aspiring mystic. She is woefully monolinguistic in human languages but has regular (sometimes unwilling) bilingual conversations with The Universe, who insists on co-authorship in certain practices. The translations required can be both exhausting and exhilarating. She hales from Montana and claims close relationships with locally famous people who are trying to save the earth and care for each other. She is both sad and happy, broken and whole, brilliant and dimwitted, old and young. She is alive in the moment and often claims that is enough.



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