Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


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Vine

The vine in the garden

pushes its way

up the trellis

hungrily.

Stretches past it,

reaching for

something.

Support,

to grow further.

It finds

only

air.

New tendril

reaches

up.

Twine

together,

growing

upward,

out,

further still,

leaning

on

each other.

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Only Once

Yesterday morning I stepped into the Arizona sunlight, facing the mountains, and felt, more than heard, the chatter of a flock of birds. Simultaneously, behind me, dove was calling softly. Unexpectedly, suddenly, I was transported from that place and time. I experienced a hundred awakenings to that mournful call; I was, again, overcome with a sense of safety, of being held, as surely only a baby can feel. Was it my heart, my chest, or all of me opening, loosening, radiating?

This all occurred in a few short minutes. I know this because we were about to leave for the airport, to return home, and I had requested a moment outside alone. But there was a timelessness to the experience, that, when it was over, I wanted to hold on to. And I remembered this:

Only Once by Denise Levertov

All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we’d do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every invitation
did not begin
a series, a build-up: the marvelous
did happen in our lives, our stories
are not drab with its absence: but don’t
expect to return for more. Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
to acknowledge the next
song in its body — halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never.


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Miracle Fair by Wislawa Szymborska

The commonplace miracle:

that so many common miracles take place.

 

The usual miracles:

invisible dogs barking

in the dead of night.

 

One of many miracles:

a small and airy cloud

is able to upstage the massive moon.

 

Several miracles in one:

an alder is reflected in the water

and is reversed from left to right

and grows from crown to root

and never hits bottom

though the water isn’t deep.

 

A run-of-the-mill miracle:

winds mild to moderate

turning gusty in storms.

 

A miracle in the first place:

cows will be cows.

 

Next but not least:

just this cherry orchard

from just this cherry pit.

 

A miracle minus top hat and tails:

fluttering white doves.

 

A miracle (what else can you call it):

the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.

and will set tonight at one past eight.

 

A miracle that’s lost on us:

the hand actually has fewer than six fingers

but still it’s got more than four.

 

A miracle, just take a look around:

the inescapable earth.

 

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:

the unthinkable

can be thought.


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Working together, by David Whyte

We shape our self

to fit this world

and by the world

are shaped again.

The visible

and the invisible

working together

in common cause,

to produce

the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way

the intangible air

passed at speed

round a shaped wing

easily

holds our weight.

So may we, in this life

trust

to those elements

we have yet to see

or imagine,

and look for the true

shape of our own self,

by forming it well

to the great

intangibles about us.


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Who you are according to William Stafford

The things you do not have to say make you rich.

Saying the things you do not have to say weakens your talk.

Hearing the things you do not need to hear dulls your hearing.

The things you know before you hear them, this is you and this is the reason that you are in the world.

William Stafford “Crossing Unmarked Snow“