Your friend is coming I say
To Percy, and name a name
And he runs to the door, his
Wide mouth in its laugh-shape,
And waves, since he has one, his tail.
Emerson, I am trying to live,
As you said we must, the examined life.
But there are days I wish
There was less in my head to examine,
Not to speak of the busy heart. How
Would it be to be Percy, I wonder, not
Thinking, not weighing anything, just running forward.
Yesterday, I was reading in “Ecotherapy: Healing Nature with Mind” this quote from Okanagan Canadian author and activist Jeannette Armstrong as she writes about the Okanagan native peoples, “The Okanagan teaches that emotion or feeling is the capacity whereby community and land intersect in our beings and become part of us. This bond or link is a priority for our individual wholeness or well-being.”
In this same book, David W. Orr writes, “.we indeed live in the lap of a great intelligence, as Emerson once said. It is a practice acknowledgement that health, healing, wholeness, and holy are related not just by linguistic accident but by the fact that they are one and inseparable.”
Thinking of Percy’s running forward through the lens of the book, “Ecotherapy,” I’m guessing that Mary wishes to be one with the world through an acute and authentic response to the feelings and possibilities in the moment. If we are in touch with our feelings, we are one with our animal selves, which also include human nature, cultures, and mind. It seems to be then, that it’s not about Percy not thinking, but that we long for his seemingly effortless navigation between the shoals of thinking and feeling. We long for an awareness of emotion and thinking in our minds and bodies. We long for healing, wholeness, and hope.
So I say, let us befriend our brains and our bodies. Both are of this earth and belong. If we can come into awareness and acceptance, maybe we can reach some semblance of effortless flow in this world.
This awareness and acceptance is Sufi wisdom whose poetry reminds us that our deep longing is union with the Friend. I know it is mine. To begin every day panting at the door, knowing that friendship awaits, running towards the Beloved, and hence to be loving.
What awaits you outside your door today?