Sunday, December 13, 2009
The poem at the bottom of the post is one I recited so often while doing initiations into Reclaiming that I finally memorized it. It is, in so many ways, a perfect poem, at least I think so.
Homo sapiens, as a species, is a social animal. We join forces more often than not. One of my great teachers used to talk about how adept we humans are at collecting ourselves into groups, communities, collectives, teams, crowds, and clubs.
There are so many forms of adoption among humans and other species, too. When we are feeling generous, we realize that we all do, in some way or another, belong to each other. Certainly here in the blog world we adopt each other, yes? I say yes.
I went to a party Friday night at which I realized just how much a part of the Capitol Hill community I have become over the years. Looking around I saw neighbors, clients and friends, and their kids, too, now grown up, who I knew when they were in junior high school. Wow. It was quite moving, feeling in my heart - knowing in my heart - that I don't have to always be the weirdo, the outsider, unless that's what I want. Indeed I used to play the outcast in my family, but the second I decided to abandon that role, I was welcomed in with warmth and enthusiasm.
Because I don't have kids or a partner or a nice house, I have assumed that here on the Hill I am somehow "other." According to the folks at the party, I'm one of them. That story I told myself for years, that I didn't belong? JUST A STORY.
Sweet, isn't it? I think so.
by Mary Oliver
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 your 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.
If you've got a bit of the holiday blues, I recommend walking the gauntlet of a big double row of Christmas trees. That clean smell and the beautiful bluish green needles will clean all the gloom out of your aura. It's like an aura carwash.