Thursday, February 16, 2012
Now that I’m free to be myself, who am I?
Can’t fly, can’t run, and see how slowly I walk.
Well I think I can read books.
What’s that you are doing?
the green headed fly shouts as it buzzes past.
I close the book.
Well, I can write down words like these, softly.
“What’s that your’re doing?” whispers the wind, pausing,
in a heap just outside the window.
Give me a little time I say back to its staring face.
It doesn’t happen all of a sudden you know.
”Doesn’t it ?’ says the wind, and breaks open, releasing
distillation of blue iris,
And my heart panics not to be, as I long to be,
the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.
- Mary Oliver
This well known poem by Mary Oliver strikes a chord with all of us. The first part describes how we so often are--longing for we know not what, yearning for "it"--the "something" that will change our lives and give them meaning. Yet, the poet tells us, it is not by "doing" but rather by "receiving" that we will discover the hidden treasure of our lives. I think we have all had such moments in our lives--moments when we forget who we are, quit fretting over "our plans," and simply become still--one with the silence. Then we are indeed "the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle." And it is then that we are complete and know--without words or explanation--that we are whole.
(photo by ThomasHookerphotography.com)