Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
David Wagoner, from Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems
Everything Is Waiting for You
(After Derek Mahon)
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array,
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
David Whyte, from Everything is Waiting for You
ANNE STADLER'S OFFERINGS
THE GIFT EXCHANGE (a rumination on Rumi's The Guest House)
This being human is a gift exchange
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture.
Still treat each gift honorably.
It may be clearing you out
For some new delight!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.
AND RUMI ALSO INVITES US:
Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing
There is a field.
I'll meet you there!
HERE'S THE POEM THAT WAS GIFTED TO US BY PEOPLE WHO WERE AT SLEEPING LADY BEFORE US Thanks to Jowyn!!
by China Galland
There is a goodness, a Wisdom that arises,
sometimes gracefully, sometimes gently,
sometimes awkwardly, sometimes fiercely.
It will arise to save us if we let it.
And it arises from within us like the force
that drives green shoots to break the winter
It will arise and drive us
into a great blossoming like a pear tree,
into flowering, into fragrance, fruit, and song...
Into that part of ourselves
that can never be defiled, defeated or destroyed,
but that comes back to life,
Time and time again.
That lives always,
That does not die.
AND ONE MORE THAT I READ AT A RECENT LEADERSHIP CHARETTE!!! It is SO APPROPRIATE for our work!!
FIRE, by Judy Brown
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make the fire possible.
We need only to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
simply because the space is there,
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.