Monday, November 23, 2009

Robert Whalley's "Poem for Monday"

My friend Robert Whalley (from All Saints' San Francisco and Berkeley days) now from Australia, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate in less than 15 days.  Bob is a wonderful, gentle soul and has spent a good part of his life as a college chaplain.  He writes beautifully and this poem from his blog, called Poem for Monday really spoke to me.  It seems I needed to hear the words of "stretching into the present."  Izzie's cancer has me off-balance and living in today is so important to get through this.

Poem for Monday
We don’t have to have a past today
Could simply follow the sun like certain plants
Face the light, turn to what is bright and warming; or, conversely,
Like a more delicate potted plant, move into the softer shade for the filtered light
Humankind cannot bear very much reality, nor should many other growing things.

Find the place that suits for this morning,
the ecology that supports enough growth,
(the life of significant soil), between reseeding (receding) and bloom.
But not being caught, rooted too deeply, in either of those beds.

Instead, stretch into the present like cats do, relaxing and
Letting the spine of the moment open like a shy smile,
An intake of breath, an increased delight, a touch of dancing
While you silently stay exactly where you are.

And all that carried history and expectation,
Heavy potential and the weight of undone deeds
Unfinished stories and long-dead parents and people
We never liked all that much; make it compost, treat it like dung.

To be left behind, discarded in a pile to decay, mulch,
To ripen into something that can feed new
Unthinkable, unspeakable growth that may
Bloom into possibilities in another spring

photo from Wikipedia.


Grandmère Mimi said...

We can learn so much from our animal companions. They surely live in the present.

I like your picture, Amelia.

motheramelia said...

Yes they really do live in the present. My goal is make each day a good one for Izzie. If only people could learn forgiveness from them as well.

Sunflowers are heliotropic (until they are full grown). I wonder what that says about us. If we would just consider facing the Son all our lives, what a different world this would be.

Young children are much like dogs in that they spend much of their time in the present.

The Conversationalist said...

Thanks for sharing this, Mother.
I did read it on Rob's blog. He is a rich blessing - I will have the honour and pleasure of being at his Ordination to the Diaconate. TC