The Form Of It

“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.”
Mary Oliver

Posted by Ravenous Butterflies, a very fine site as I’ve said and shared often. It has consistent appeal for me and touches on the things I love.

Something has occurred to me as I enjoyed this and chose it to post. When I was little, in grade school, I collected holy cards. I must have had hundreds. Lord knows where they ended up, I can’t imagine throwing them away, but like many things of childhood, disappeared they are.

So, as I captured this, I thought of those bygone treasures and their singular importance to me. I was struck by the holy-card look of the Mucha painting. How I would have loved to purchase it in the treasured form to be held in the Missal of the Mass. And then it struck me that perhaps I had not stopped collecting at all, but turned to other things such as this, to hold on these pages, or in another venue, but as well both in my heart.

I’ve always known we don’t really grow up, but now I know we don’t quit the things we hold to heart. We just change the form.

Today’s Birthday

Again late, my friends. Apparently I am only able to acknowledge birthdays a day past. Nonetheless, here it is.

Gary Snyder…sometimes called the poet of the earth. Some of his poems transcend, may cause an altered state. A caution might precede the poetry: warning, may cause thinking, even loving.

Beat hero, steward of the earth, Zen Buddhist—in his mid-eighties, poet Gary Snyder looks back on an honorable life at the leading edge.

Gary Snyder. Photo by Festival of Faiths.

Gary Snyder. Photo by Festival of Faiths. In Lion’s Roar Buddhist Magazine

I want to share a GS poem with you. Here’s one.

My home was at Cold Mountain from the start,
Rambling among the hills, far from trouble.

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind—
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me;
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.