Feast

20130808-114145.jpg

I read a horoscope last week that said to watch for books that jumped off the shelf at me, wanting to be looked at and read.

Well, it wasn’t a book that jumped out, but a poem. I heard it in a documentary called “Free Your Mind”, directed by Phie Ambo, and made a mental note of the title, wanting to look it up later. Then, yesterday, this same poem was handed out in my writing group, to be read and discussed.

I think it is really beautiful and relevant in the way it talks about the stranger we all periodically let ourselves become. The self who is always there, awaiting our return, never judging, wanting just to love and nourish.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

WILD GEESE

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 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 wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

Ever since Happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
-Hafiz

I’ve loved this quote from the first time I saw it hanging on my sister’s refrigerator. ┬áThe idea of happiness as a living thing, searching for you, wanting to be with you, waiting until you pop around a corner and then wham, slamming right into you. ┬áSomething to be cherished when it happens. And when it does, don’t waste time by worrying that it might be short lived or that you don’t deserve such joy. No, simply enjoy it and be present. As you become comfortable with it, happiness will find you more often and it will become normal. Still not something to take for granted and always something to cherish, but not unusual or frightening, as it may have been in the beginning.