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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
I thought this poem by Mary Oliver is a good reminder to us why we need to number ourselves among the courageous souls pushing for substantive agreements in the climate talks in Copenhagen.
This poem speaks to us on so many levels, and it is telling us that the living world of nature does so as well. Trees and fields, flowers and stones, they embody the outer world, yes, but they are also the doorway to the inner. The natural world is the doorway to ourselves.
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?
We've trained ourselves to glance and not see. But that is precisely the purpose of the human soul, to deeply witness. Anything less, anything too busy to see, becomes mere existence.
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
While the soul, after all, is only a window...
And that leaves us terribly bereft, living in a world devoid of depth, alienated from our own purpose and true selves...
No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!
The solution is to slow, to stop, to look, and finally to see. Seeing, we connect -- with each other, and with the earth, the earth and her multiform mystery.
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!
The process of being an individual trying to find a place in the human world can be exhausting, but we can never forget that we must first find a place in the community of life upon the earth. The human endeavor, rich and tragic and wonderful, loses its meaning -- and its ability to continue -- when separated from its larger family of living beings and its mysterious mother, the living earth.
I ramble my way home.
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M. Granger's original poetry, stories and commentaries are Copyright ©
2002 - 2011 by Ivan M. Granger.
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