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Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

WILD GEESE

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.

September 1, 1939

 

This is a poem posted by a friend today. It's one for the ages.

 

W.H. Auden — September 1, 1939 

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright 
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can 
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return. 

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire 
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Another radio play

 

Nice to see "Lucinda" getting some more local radio play!

 

http://bandwidth.wamu.org/sol-power-all-stars-letzkus-lanou/

Songs featured Aug. 26, 2016, as part of Capital Soundtrack from WAMU 88.5.

 

 

Summer clip on WAMU

Ho’oponopono: Hawaiian wisdom

A friend shared this with me today: what a perfect word. In so many ways. 

"Hoʻoponopono" is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary[11] as "mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness." 

http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/practice-hooponopono-four-simple-steps/

"Why would it affect anything “out there”? The secret is there is no such thing as “out there” – everything happens to you in your mind. Everything you see, everything you hear, every person you meet, you experience in your mind. You only think it’s “out there” and you think that absolves you of responsibility. In fact it’s quite the opposite: you are responsible for everything you think, and everything that comes to your attention. If you watch the news, everything you hear on the news is your responsibility. That sounds harsh, but it means that you are also able to clear it, clean it, and through forgiveness change it.

 

There are four simple steps to this method, and the order is not that important. Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love are the only forces at work – but these forces have amazing power.

 

The best part of the updated version of Ho’oponopono is you can do it yourself, you don’t need anyone else to be there, you don’t need anyone to hear you. You can “say” the words in your head. The power is in the feeling and in the willingness of the Universe to forgive and love.

Step 1: Repentance – I’M SORRY

 

As I mention above, you are responsible for everything in your mind, even if it seems to be “out there.” Once you realize that, it’s very natural to feel sorry. I know I sure do. If I hear of a tornado, I am so full of remorse that something in my consciousness has created that idea. I’m so very sorry that someone I know has a broken bone that I realize I have caused.

 

This realization can be painful, and you will likely resist accepting responsibility for the “out there” kind of problems until you start to practice this method on your more obvious “in here” problems and see results.

 

So choose something that you already know you’ve caused for yourself? Over-weight? Addicted to nicotine, alcohol or some other substance? Do you have anger issues? Health problems? Start there and say you’re sorry. That’s the whole step: I’M SORRY. Although I think it is more powerful if you say it more clearly: “I realize that I am responsible for the (issue) in my life and I feel terrible remorse that something in my consciousness has caused this.”

 

Step 2: Ask Forgiveness – PLEASE FORGIVE ME

Don’t worry about who you’re asking. Just ask! PLEASE FORGIVE ME. Say it over and over. 

Mean it. Remember your remorse from step 1 as you ask to be forgiven.

 

Step 3: Gratitude – THANK YOU

Say “THANK YOU” – again it doesn’t really matter who or what you’re thanking. Thank your body for all it does for you. Thank yourself for being the best you can be. Thank God. Thank the Universe. Thank whatever it was that just forgave you. Just keep saying THANK YOU.

 

Step 4: Love – I LOVE YOU

This can also be step 1. Say I LOVE YOU. Say it to your body, say it to God. Say I LOVE YOU to the air you breathe, to the house that shelters you. Say I LOVE YOU to your challenges. Say it over and over. Mean it. Feel it. There is nothing as powerful as Love.


That’s it. The whole practice in a nutshell. Simple and amazingly effective."







Enough. It's Late.

Enough. It's late. 


The old thresher now rusts in the tall grass, almost hidden. Shall I haul it away? Even if I did, the spot would remain, imprinted with its heavy form. 


Enough. It's late. 


The old bale elevator sits perched in the weeds like a brown grasshopper. Shall I haul it away? Even if I did, the weeds would remain, overgrown and untidy.


Enough. It's late.


I look out my window and see the light shake of early snow. What will I do this winter when the fields are blanketed? Will I envision Spring without these unsightly hunks of junk?


Enough. It's late.


These broken, rusted things are nostalgic to me. I won't haul them away. Maybe later, someone will.

NYTs: Martin Litton, Fighter for Environment, Dies at 97

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/martin-litton-fighter-for-environment-dies-at-97.html

 

“People always tell me not to be extreme,” he said in a 2010 documentary about his life, “The Good Fight.”

“ ‘Be reasonable!’ they say. But I never felt it did any good to be reasonable about anything in conservation, because what you give away will never come back — ever. When it comes to saving wilderness, we can’t be extreme enough. To compromise is to lose.”

Forward on Climate Rallying Cry!

Forward on Climate Rally: February 17th!

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