This poem was first introduced to me by my friend Alan. He was a person who tried to live life deeply, digging into moments looking for joy and experiences. He loved fine food, spoke Italian, and took walks in the woods with his dog. He spent as much time in nature as he could, and he played a mean saxophone. He would always stop for sushi when he got off a plane (and he travelled a lot). He would randomly send me photos from first class, or from interesting places he visited on work trips. He had a beautiful loft in his home with a nook at one end. There were big windows where the morning light would pour in.
The last time I saw Alan, I was sitting in a restaurant, and I saw him out of the window — looked like he was grabbing a quick takeout lunch between meetings. I thought about going out to say hello, but didn't. A few weeks later I heard that Alan had taken his life. I learned a lot from Alan. I hope that he's found the peace he so vigorously searched for.
In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day that closes the moment you begin your plans. What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep. To become human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others. To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance. You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged. Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be, what urgency calls you to your one love? What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky? Is it waiting in the fertile sea? In the trees beyond the house? In the life you can imagine for yourself? In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk?
You can find some short thoughts here, some personal moments, and other nuggets. I hope you'll join me on The Journey. *April was National Poetry Month, so along with some other posts, there was a poem every day here.