My Own Path

My Own Path June 20, 2011

I was born with the ability to see in metaphor. This has been my inborn way of relating to the one living sense. From the earliest age, the world has spoken to me in this way. The analogous relationship of things has called, not in words, but in a silent language that has somehow shown me, however briefly, the web of connection under everything. This gift is a function of presence; that is, when I am present enough, metaphors appear. They are my teachers. All of my poems are just notes from these teachers. Seeing how things go together sustains me. The moment of such grasping is like a synapse that is fired and life-force is released. Presence and time are servants of light. In this, enlightenment is an experience, no matter how brief, of the light within coinciding with the light in the world. In moments of enlightenment, like moments of poetry or love, we both lose who we are and sustain who we are. In such moments, we are sent back into ourselves illuminated.

The fact that I have lived a life as a poet is testament to my friendship with metaphor. That the life of poetry has exposed itself as a life of spirit is testament to my friendship with the connectedness of all things that metaphor exists to praise. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if we write it down or not. The true poetry happens the instant the metaphor is seen. The rest is blessed labor to make the invisible visible. So after a lifetime it’s clear that the human form of light is love which only presence and time can comfort into being. The way immense sunshine and heat cause the light within a seed hidden in the earth to seek its own nature and somehow break ground.

So my own path of listening has led me here. For much of my life has been devoted to staying in conversation with everything around me—with the mystery, with God or Source, with the rivers of change, with you. As I get older, I long even more for the wisdom and companionship of other living things; to stay in conversation with all I love, with all I admire, with all who have suffered and given of themselves to stay alive and to keep life going. In many ways, our stories are part of one story. Our pain is part of one pain. Our surprise at the beauty and fragility of life is part of one chorus of awe. My passion now is to stay as close as possible to the pulse of what is kind and true; to stay in conversation with what happens there and to experience more and more ways to listen.

Over the years, the trail of these conversations has become the books I write. The further I go, the more of one water they are, as if each book is a different shaped bucket which I haul to the sea, scooping what I can. When it is full, well, that’s the next book. And each book uncovers some learning that leads to the next. In this way, each book is a teacher, leading me more deeply into the many ways of being here.

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