Monday, March 22, 2010

The Journey - March 22, 2010

The Journey - March 22, 2010

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

This seems to be Mary's crescendo of my favorite poems. Wild Geese and The Journey are two I use a lot. Then in between was that lovely surprise of Starfish. I hear my own heart in her words - that love will save me. And in saving me, I save the starfish, the geese, the world. Also, the world in being beautiful, love worthy, and tragic, saves me. I have great company in the struggles of life, for their struggle is my own. In solidarity we journey ever home.

How do you save yourself? Are saved?

1 comment:

  1. I am crying as I write this. I mentioned my leaving my husband in the 'Starfish' poem. Then I read this which describes it perfectly. "One day you finally knew what you had to do..." I had heard, "Mend my life!" for thirteen years and found only he could do it and he wasn't willing or able to. I had stayed one more day to run my plan past my psychiatrist. He asked how serious I was about leaving. I pulled the airplane tickets for two hours later from my purse. He stood up, motioned for me to stand up, and gave me a hug I can still feel as he whispered in my ear several times, "You'll make it." As the embrass ended he added. "We'll take care of him. Don't you worry." meaning he and his partner who my husband saw. His.."melancholy was terrible." and they kept their promise, releasing that feeling of responsibility from me.

    The "new voice" referred to in the poem included not just mine, but also my children's voices. It was my daughter who pointed this out to me first. We were taking off in our plane to a new life as "the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds" when she said, "Mommy, look at the pretty butterfly." She was referring to the lights of cars on the intersection of two major highways with the cloverleaf entrance and exit ramps. I vowed to always look for the beauty. My children knew how to do that, so why shouldn't I, and foster the value of beauty as we succeeded together. It is her birthday today. She hasn't opened my gift, yet. I know she will be able to appreciate the beauty of Jiri Lonsky's spirit house.

    "...determined to do the only thing you could do--determined to save the only life you could save." I include my children to read it as, "...the only lives you could save." "The Journey" is a very good title for this. It has been quite a journey.