Any Chance Meeting
In every gathering, in any chance meeting
on the street, there is a shine,
an elegance rising up.
Today, I recognized that that jewel-like beauty
is the presence, our loving confusion,
the glow in which watery clay
gets brighter than fire,
the one we call the Friend.
I begged, “Is there a way into you,
“Your head is the ladder.
Bring it down under your feet.”
The mind, this globe
of awareness, is a starry universe that when
you push off from it with your foot,
a thousand new roads come clear, as you yourself
do at dawn, sailing through the light.
– Rumi – translated by Coleman Barks
When I am Among Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself
, in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, ”
and you too have come into the world to do this,
to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”
– Mary Oliver –
My eyes already touch the sunny hill
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance–
and charges us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave…
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.
– Maria Raine Rilke –
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
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 guest honorably,
She 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
– Rumi –
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
– Mary Oliver –