To My Fellow Pilgrims…

Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see…

David Whyte

I am posting this poem that I came across the other day. It is from the wordpress site of Dr. Bill Wooten. It is a site full of positive, practical ideas and I highly suggest you visit it!

Now don’t be shocked with what I’m about to say, but I rarely enjoy reading  poetry. Condemnable, I know, on such a cerebral place as Wordpress.

But when I read this poem it was like music. I’m totally hooked on Whyte’s poetry now. He is literally the ONLY poet about whom I have said those words.

And not to be too heavy-handed with Thanksgiving metaphors, but I like the title of this poem, The Pilgrim. Let’s take it as a post-Thanksgiving reminder that every day we are pilgrims, sojourners, and story-makers.

IMG_7261

Here is the poem, The Pilgrim:

“Be infinitessimal under that sky, a creature
even the sailing hawk misses, a wraith
among the rocks where the mist parts slowly.

Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, stand a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.

Then, look back down the path to the north,
the way you came, as if seeing
your entire past and then south
over the hazy blue coast as if present
to a broad future.

Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons,
whether you reach them or not.

Admit that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door,
once you have walked out into the clean air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary, you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim,
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back
from the mountain,
who helped to make it.”

~ David Whyte

May I Be the Duck

There is a lovely little documentary called, “How To Cook Your Life.” In it a monk, Edward Espe Brown, imparts zen philosophies for life in the context of cooking. I’ve watched it many times…especially in the kitchen! There is one point in the film when Espe Brown recites a poem written by his mother before her death. I have this poem posted in my home. It reminds me of my position in life. It reminds me of the great ocean of mystery and potential that always surrounds me. It reminds me to rest in the moment.

Here it is for you.

Ocean of the Long Tailed Duck by Doug Hiser

Ocean of the Long Tailed Duck by Doug Hiser

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.

It’s a duck

Riding on the waves a hundred feet beyond the surf.

It can rest while the Atlantic heaves

Because it rests in the Atlantic.

Probably it doesn’t know how large the ocean is

And neither do you.

But what does it do, I ask you?

It sits down in it.

It rests in the immediate as though it were infinity.

Finding Grace of the World

My family recently held a service to remember and celebrate a loved on who had passed. Although I couldn’t attend, I found out that this poem was read that day. I wanted to share it with our wordpress community as a reminder to stop, to breathe, to give thanks, and to find grace and peace in the world around you.

~~~S Wave~~~

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THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.