Don't bother me.
The butterfly's loping flight
carries it through the country of the leaves...
for long delicious moments it is perfect
lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft stalk
of some ordinary flower.
The god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, I lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
frog voice: now,
he said, and now.
and never once mentioned forever,
which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.
One or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond...
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.
But to lift the hoof!
For that you need an idea.
For years and years I struggled
just to love my life. And then
rose, weightless, in the wind.
"don't love your life
too much," it said,
and vanished into the world.
Mary has thrown a koan here. We begin the poem in perfectly normal ways. "Live now in the moment, and let go of the future." "Life is pleasure and pain, nothing more accompanies you on your journey of life." But just when you expect her to leave you with the value of lived experience she says it's an "idea" that will remove the weight of death, and oh yes, by the way, don't love too much. I'm seeing contradictions here - does god live in the dirt or in the flutter of wings? Do we love the flowers, or not? Do we experience or do we think?
In the style of qal wahomer, an ancient Jewish Rabbi's teaching device that Jesus used in his parables, the reader is left confused with the contradictions. In the puzzling out and the tension, there remains only one thing left un opposed with binary comparisons. Usually this is "god" or the "kingdom" or "love." What is it here? Is she speaking of one, or two things? ? I have no idea. And the stampede flutters across my heart.
What is your idea under your truth? And what is your truth under your ideas?