Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mornings at Blackwater

For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
it was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
 feet of ducks.

And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.

What I want to say is
 the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

So come to the pond
or the river of your imagination
or the harbor of your longing,

and put your lips to the world.

Synchronicity once again comes to me through this couplet of poems.  I wrote yesterday that though anxiety comes to we mortal beings naturally enough, we are capable of choosing another way.  But to do this we must be willing to go where ducks go, into the mud, slime, and goo of our pasts so that the we might see the flower blooming out of the pond's murkiness. 

This pond lily is the Buddhist lotus flower.  Though it grows in muddy water, it rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty.  At night it closes and sinks into the murk below. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment, ever repeated and never perfected.

The pond water is the Sufi's wine.  The metaphor of drinking wine for a Sufi means to become intoxicated with spiritual love as we let go of the ego.  While swimming in the Ichetucknee, I am at nose level with the wood ducks along the way, and also with the gar, bass, mullet, and turtle.  Though by accident, I take in the spring water, sprinkled with traces of fish, bird, and the swimmer ahead of me. 

May I rise up today beyond the mud of my ego and intentionally drink deeply of the world around me.  I will never get this perfect.  But by the grace of wild things, may I know that now is the time to breathe in the fluid of mother earth's womb.

What do you wish to drink in today?

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