Bent

by Ivan M. Granger


Original Language English

Yes, seekers, do
sit up,
stand tall.

But hear
my bent secret:

     All saints slouch.

God's lovers lean
into the divine embrace
and there
let the years pass.

     Struggling for straightness,
     your strivings shaken,

     learn what true knowers know:

Effort clears the way,
but the steps
are already taken.

-- from Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey, by Ivan M. Granger

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/ Photo by Demi Brooke /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Since I am doing a public book signing tomorrow, I thought I would share one of my own poems with you today.

So many straight spines and rigorous strivings in the spiritual game. All valuable in the right context. But, you know, at some point you just lean into that divine embrace and finally find what all that effort failed to attain.

I like the image of a slingshot. You and I, we are the pebbles. We pull and strain; we fast and meditate, pray and breathe, turn inward, reach outward to help how we can... and yet all we feel is tension. Then, unexpectedly, we surrender, perhaps we stumble, we let go. The slingshot snaps back; that's when we soar!

Letting go doesn't mean much if we haven't first created the proper dynamic tension and focus through spiritual effort. But ceaseless tugging only leads to rigidity and strain. Effort is required, but it is only through yielding that we reach the goal.

Another way to understand this is that enlightenment, salvation, liberation, the true Self, these are not attained through effort. They are not attained at all. They simply are. They are already our nature. Effort is necessary, yes, but only to clear away the delusion that they are not already who we are. Effort clears the way, but the steps are already taken.

So, yes, seekers, do sit up, stand tall. But, with the reclining saints, we slouch our way into heaven. Resting in that recognition, we let the years pass...

A good weekend to go outside, lean back into the earth, look up, let go, and soar!


(And, if you are in Colorado, swing by La Vita Bella Coffeeshop in downtown Longmont this Saturday, between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. I'll be there, signing books and chatting. I might even be coaxed to read a few poems, if you like.)



Recommended Books: Ivan M. Granger

Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey For Lovers of God Everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics Poems of Awakening: An International Anthology of Spiritual Poetry





Bent