Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Journey

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

© Mary Oliver.


Mata H said...

Yes yes and yes. You know in Talmudic teaching it says that if we kill one life, we kill the world -- I think it is true that if we heal one life, we heal the world as well. Now, dear unknown yet known friend, read some Rumi.

Be Lost in the Call
Lord, said David, since you do not need us,why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you've never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn't wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn't want a crown or robe from God's grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

That is achingly beautiful. I think i will have to purchase some Rumi...any suggestions?

mister tumnus said...

something i read on pip wilson's website the other day really struck me; ' we are responsible TO people, not FOR people'.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

i agree, it turns my whole mind set upside down - which i think is a good thing!

Mata H said...

I tend to like the Rumi translations by Coleman Barks -- there is, however, a ton of free Rumi on the net. Just toss his name into google and a vast resource will unfold.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

The Essential Rumi: Selected Poems by Penguin Classics and translated by Mr Barks has been purchased

will let you know