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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
I just recently rediscovered this poem by Jane Hirshfield.
Some of her phrases just grab hold of you--
It is a simple garment, this slipped-on world.
And yes, it is a simple enough task
we've taken on,
though also vast
This poem seems to me to be an exploration of the way we awaken each morning to the day, and to the world. It's a simple enough action; we do it every day, day after day, seemingly without effort or thought. Yet, it is also an immense undertaking each morning: We emerge from a land of rest and sleep and the fluid reality of dreams, we stretch, and rise into the immense reality of the shared tangible world. We step from one immense reality and step into a new immense reality. Simple, right?
What is she suggesting with her imagery of cat and mouse? This is just my reading of it, but knowing Jane Hirshfield to be a Buddhist practitioner, I suspect she is saying something about meditation and mind. Perhaps the meditator's mind is like the cat; it must come to still rest within the luminosity of consciousness. Then perhaps it can dream the mouse.
And the mouse is that hidden, hard-to-find deep mind, nestled safely in the secret corners of the house. The sunlight of daily consciousness may not reach there, but still awareness sees, and life blooms.
What do you think? Do you read it a different way?
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2002 - 2011 by Ivan M. Granger.
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