Oceans

by Juan Ramon Jimenez

English version by Robert Bly
Original Language Spanish

     I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.
                    And nothing
happens! Nothing...Silence...Waves...

     --Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

-- from News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness, Edited by Robert Bly

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I was introduced to this poem several years ago, and its words are still with me.

The poem is haunting, isn't it? It speaks to us of depths and a hidden "great thing."

This is the encounter with the great Mystery. And the truth is that every moment we stand at that threshold. At the beginning of the New Year, more than at any other time of year, we are aware of the threshold of time. The past is laid out behind us, and the future stretches out before us, and here we each stand, eager yet hesitant to take the next step. For here, in this fragile forward tilting moment is an invitation into new territory full of surprising possibilities, beauty, and danger too. Who knows what the next moment truly holds? Every step is a step into mystery. We are everywhere surrounded by depths of being, eager to swallow up our surface perception of reality.

It's terrifying! And exhilarating. And that is the state of being alive. Certainty and comfort have no part in this equation. Our thoughts about thoughts are a thin sort of armor.

The most momentous encounter with mystery is mute. Silent. As if nothing happens. Or...

Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?



Recommended Books: Juan Ramon Jimenez

The Winged Energy of Delight News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness The Soul is Here for its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures Invisible Reality Time and Space: A Poetic Autobiography
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Oceans