I set out tonight on the wood trail
along the stone wall, across the bridge,
and up the sky topped hill.
The sun poured down
a silky sovereignty,
making honey of the fields…
in the evening air,
I allowed my thoughts to still.
I do not need
to list right here
the dark cries of the world…
Yet the wild bird of the soul
still sings- softly,
fierce and sweet.
And the birds in the thicket,
too, have not given up
And you, my friend,
how are you?
We’ve been quiet far too long.
(from a new collection in the works, A Book of Love & Wonder)
There is a line from a poem by Odysseus Elytis which made me gasp with recognition when I first read it. I can’t even count the number of times I have rewritten it in my journal. It captures how tongue-tied I’ve felt of late, and yet how I have longed to keep pouring my love into the world. It is this:
“I have something incomprehensible to say,
like birdsong in the time of war.”
I wonder how many of us have been feeling this- this longing to continue to live our love; to live in Love; to pour love into the world, and yet the news of the day, the atmosphere of the day, almost makes an expression of love seem incomprehensible.
I was mugged once. I was in my twenties, walking alone down a dark city street. Suddenly I was surrounded by three very hostile women who kicked me, pulled me all around, and stole whatever they could from me. And I just watched it happening. I went absolutely quiet. It was so astonishing to my innocence that I didn’t have a response.
I think of this now because I’ve been feeling mugged in one way or another fairly often these past few years… going along cheerfully and then finding myself shocked and astonished when presented with another facet of reality. Sometimes it knocks me sideways, and I go very quiet.
I don’t want to react with cynicism or fear. I still want to live with the vision and the conviction that Love is the best energy we have for addressing the world’s problems. And I want to keep finding the ways that are the truest and most effective ways for me to serve through this love. We each have our own particular ways of doing this. Incomprehensible, perhaps, but neccessary- like birdsong in the time of war.