Monday, June 17, 2013

you are pure poetry

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.

- Bernard of Clairvaux

"I say I want to save the world but really
I want to write poems all day
I want to rise, write poems, go to sleep,
Write poems in my sleep
Make my dreams poems
Make my body a poem with beautiful clothes
I want my face to be a poem"

- from "Ars Poetica" by Dorothea Lasky

“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.

There is no fixed path to enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a destination, a goal, the resting place at the end of a long journey -that’s the mind’s version of enlightenment. Enlightenment is the lighting up of where you are right now.

This is very good news. It means that nobody is the authority on your path - no teacher, no guru, no religious leader. It means that nobody can tell you the right ‘way’ for you. It means that you cannot go wrong, even if you think you’ve gone wrong. It means that nothing that happens can ever lead you off the path, for the path is whatever happens, without exception. Nothing can take you away from the miracle of life, or bring you closer to it for that matter, since the miracle is all around, already shining brightly, as every thought, sensation, image, feeling, smell, sound, and as the deeper miracle of the one who is aware of all of this.

Be the awareness, shining on the moment, whatever its contents. Doubt, fear, sadness, anger, intense confusion - maybe, just maybe, these are neither enemies nor blocks to enlightenment, but expressions of a deeper intelligence, the same incomprehensibly vast and awake intelligence that gives birth to stars and moves the ocean tides and sends each and every living thing off on its paradoxical journey towards its own being.

Come out of the story of time and space and progress towards a future goal, and trust a sacred moment. Take any moment. Any moment at all. This moment. For any moment is the access point.
There are never any blocks - only access points. You are not some separate entity on a long journey towards a future completion.

You are pure poetry. ”

- Joseph Campbell

That we are pure poetry, yes.

But also that there are days of pure exhaustion. Days utterly lacking in poetry. This is when I most crave the silence of a forest. The sound of leaves. 

If it were only possible to write poems every day. Maybe this can happen when you're young, a student. But the more you go on as a writer, you know this to be just one of the impossible dreams you live with, the one that haunts you. Some days you feel yourself yearning and you can't quite remember what it is you lean toward, what makes you so heavy, why your heart feels like it's not quite in the proper position - pinched. 

But this, too, must be trusted as a sacred moment. 

That the absence of poetry
is a kind of poetry. 

1 comment:

  1. Not the destination, but the journey. . . good to remind ourselves.


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