Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Swimming, One Day in August - November 22, 2010

It is now, I said,
for the deepening and quieting of the spirit
among the flux of happenings.

Something had pestered me so much
I thought my heart would break.
I mean, the mechanical part.

I went down in the afternoon
to the sea
which held me, until I grew easy.

About tomorrow, who knows anything.
Except that it will be time, again,
for the deepening and quieting of the spirit.

Wendell Berry has a poem that mirrors Mary's: The Peace of Wild Things:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Like Mary, I go to the sea to be held in the waves so that my spirit may heal.  It is as if I am in the womb of life, rocked gently by the tides of eternity.  Except while in the waves I find that I am never quite relaxed, for I am on the lookout for the rogue wave, the shark, the jelly fish, and the rip tide.  Like Wendell, I also go to inland water.  While there, such as swimming in my favorite body of water, the Ichetucknee, I also do not relax totally, for there are water moccasins about and though rarely seen, there might just be a large alligator stalking me. 

Am I just an anxious sort?  Or am I gifted with a true sense of reality, knowing that ease and peace are only temporary?  I suppose the answer is yes to both.  For I am a wild thing, evolved to be ever vigilant for finding food, and not becoming food.

I am also human and believe that through intention and practice I can still the brain's primitive anxiety as I meld into the world.  Even though I am destined to be some being's lunch, target, or nutrient I can come into a state of presence that says there is no me that is not river or gator.  Let me run today towards fierce predator or drowning surge so that for a time I may be the peace I wish in the world.

Where do you go to ease your spirit?  Or is it possible?

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