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07 April 2008

Poets help us fly

Jane_fromthefourwinds Do Not Be Ashamed

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. And you will know
that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books,
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
"I am not ashamed." A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.

-Wendell Berry

Go, fly.

Sent to me a long time ago by one of the smartest, most beautiful women I know. My thanks, Lori.

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Wendell Berry, love him, so simple and so brilliant.... I bet you have read Jayber Crow. If not, you really must, since your father was a barber, I think you would love this book.

Dear Patti,
What a beautiful poem about unwavering inward clarity, which is something that can be tough sometimes. It is not only difficult to find it in the first place, but once found, to trust it unconditionally...

I would like to share with you another poem by Macrina Wiederkehr, because don't you think that some poets and writers are wells? I read this today and it reminded me of you!

"What makes this world so lovely
is that somewhere it hides a well.
Something lovely there is about a well
so deep
unpiped and real
filled with buckets and buckets
of that life-giving drink.
A faucet will do in a hurry,
but what makes the world so lovely
is that somewhere
it hides a well!

Sometimes
people are like wells
deep and real
natural (unpiped)
life-giving
calm and cool
refreshing.

They bring out what is best in you
They are like fountains of pure joy
They make you want to sing, or maybe dance
They encourage you to laugh
even, when things get rough.
And maybe that's why
things never stay rough
once you've found a well.

Some experiences are like wells too.
People create them
They are life-giving happenings
They are redeeming experiences
They are wells,
wells of wonder
wells of hope.
When you find a well
and you will some day,
Drink deeply of the gift within.
And then maybe soon
you'll discover
that you've become
what you've received,
and then you'll be a well
for others to find.

So lift up your eyes
and look all around you:
Over the mountains, down in the valley
out in the ocean, over the runways
into the cities, into the country
sidewalks and highways
paths in the forest
into the hearts of a thirsty people.

Look!
And I beg you
don't ever stop looking
because what makes this world so lovely
is that somewhere
it hides a well,
a well that hasn't been found yet.

And if you don't find it
maybe
nobody will!

And if you don't be one
maybe
nobody will find you!"

-Poem by Macrina Wiederkehr from her book: Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers and Reflections (1991).

Thank YOU dear Life poet Patti!

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