Poetry to Lift the Spirit
The immersing myself in a sensual world. The grateful acknowledgement of the beauty and wonder of my world. Mary Oliver offers me a wonderful mantra for daily living When the piwakawaka fantail dips and dives around me as I peg out the washing, inviting me to join the dance When the strangers walking their dog across the road wave to me walking my dog in the opposite direction, celebrating our shared interest And when my adult son says "Thanks Mum that was delicious" for a simple meal of sausages and potatoes, flooding my being with the warmth of his gratitude A mantra which grounds me and draws me into appreciation of the simple delights of daily life Klotho, the Greek fate, is purported to spin the thread of human life.
Lao Tzu wrote that life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. Jung said, "when it's time for souls to meet, there's nothing on earth that can prevent them from meeting, no matter where each may be located. On reflection, I am sure I have been connected to others by this red thread - the coincidences and serendipitous events are just too strong.
From the Rig Veda "There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe. The Horizontal threads are in space. The Vertical threads are in time. At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual, and every individual is a crystal bead. And every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net, But also every other reflection throughout the entire Universe.
There is always something to delight in.
The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi
I felt I was being bullied, and chided for living a quiet life. I am much more encouraged by Anais Nin's gentle words, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom. But this one wearied me. I felt the pressure of "Everything is waiting for you. I needed to meditate in silence. Often I am overwhelmed by the world around me. Even with the ordinary things that usually escape our attention - like a soap dish.
I become mindful of its origins - all those who have been involved in its creation - the artistry of the designers, the quarry workers who dig the clay, the truck drivers who deliver the finished product to the store, the creators of the packaging - and my heart overflows with a sense of belonging, with a sense of connected-ness, with gratitude. Meditation in silence is a balm for me when I my senses are over-stimulated or sense of self is over-whelmed.
I am reluctant to leave behind what I have outgrown. I allow setbacks to overwhelm and stall me.
Spiritual Poetry: 7 Poems That Will Lift Your Spirit | The Unbounded Spirit
I see the long picture and forget that my destination is only ever the next step. Perhaps this caution prevents me from becoming all that I was created to be. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
P.O.W. Poetry in Code
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house of its furniture, still treat each guest honourably. It maybe clearing out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. I didn't ask the questions that mattered. I didn't challenge the obvious inequality and discrimination.
I didn't fit, and yet I didn't move on. I was always restless, yearning, seeking. I wish I had then what Rumi alludes to - a spirit of wakefulness - or what Yeats hints at when he wrote - "the voyage of discovery lies not in see king new vistas, but in having new eyes. My heart pounds. My spirit soars. Loving kindness envelops me. Too much the introvert. Too much controlled by the self-critic. Too worried about what others will think But I do get immense pleasure from enabling others to have fun When I am surrounded by textiles and tools, immersed in patterns and ideas, I lose all sense of my individuality and accept their invitation to create intuitively.
Breath of Life (Danna Faulds)
I seek the promise they hold. I abandon myself to the process. For me, this is the 'abandoning' akin to love and sleep. Each figure reflects a part of me and becomes a part of my story as I become a part of theirs. I submit wholeheartedly to this process; trust its outcomes and revelations; encounter wisdom and LOVE.
These are not fine works of art. They are the heartfelt work of a soul. My soul. When do I raise someone or something high? I considered: raising a trophy or elevating a team member when there has been success we carry our life high when we celebrate raising someone up so they can climb a tree or putting someone on our shoulders so they can see better we carry our life high when we enable others lifting my arms to peg out the washing or lifting a pack above my head while fording a river we carry our life high when we are good stewards supporting others in a team building exercise or crowd surfing in a mosh pit we carry our life high when we trust and are trustworthy highlighting a cause or an issue through protest or petition or dedication to change we carry our life high when we are selfless when we raise a flag or a banner or an icon we carry our life high when we invite participation and engender a sense of belonging.
So how will I "carry my life high" today? I will be a steward of my one and precious life. I will celebrate the people and places around me. I will trust others who enable me, and I will continue to enable and empower others. I will try to live authentically. And in this counter-cultural slowness, I bump into wonder : the pansy growing in a crack in the footpath; the old man walking his dog who simply wants a chat. I am rarely sure or certain.
I dwell in the grey. And in my doubt, I bump into wonder : the compassion that comes from putting myself in another's shoes; the awe I feel when I look through different eyes. I am not intrepid or brave or courageous. And in my timidity, I bump into wonder: when the siren sounds and men and women set aside their lives to aid another, a deep gratitude envelops me; when a dying friend empowers and strengthens those around her.
I do not have discriminating wisdom as I am too attached to all that I have and know. But in that attachment I bump into wonder: that I have just the right book for the right person when they most need it; that I can share my collection of teapots and cups at a friend's birthday picnic.
I have stood at many crossroads - I stand at one now - and in my dawdling and doubt and timidity and clutter, holding the truths that I know for sure that I am known and I am loved , I am prepared to bump into wonder.
And I do. Sludge brown. That is the colour I paint myself. Mongrel it appears with it's specks and streaks and revelation at the edges. But it is a colour steeped with history and memory and promise. It is the carrier of my true colours. In this tribe, the birth date of a child is not counted from the day of its physical birth nor even the day of conception as in other village cultures.
Aware of her intention to conceive a child with a particular father, the mother then goes off to sit alone under a tree. There she sits and listens until she can hear the song of the child that she hopes to conceive. Once she has heard it, she returns to her village and teaches it to the father so that they can sing it together as they make love, inviting the child to join them. After the child is conceived, she sings it to the baby in her womb. Then she teaches it to the old women and midwives of the village, so that throughout the labor and at the miraculous moment of birth itself, the child is greeted with its song.
After the birth all the villagers learn the song of their new member and sing it to the child when it falls or hurts itself. It is sung in times of triumph, or in rituals and initiations. This song becomes a part of the marriage ceremony when the child is grown, and at the end of life, his or her loved ones will gather around the deathbed and sing this song for the last time. Jack Kornfield I often ask myself, "What is my song? Where do I go when that fountain is dry? Who do I choose to guide me to my healing fountain? Are there any signposts to show me the way?
This question doesn't just nudge and probe -it hurts.
- 'Spirit' poems - Hello Poetry?
- The Other Alexander, Book I of The Bow of Heaven?
- Poetry lifts the spirit when it meets the heart.
I have avoided it - perhaps for most of my life. The roller-coaster ride of every day life.