A couple days ago, I came home to find that I had left my office window wide open. Strong winds had reduced a 2 foot high stack of papers to hundreds of single sheets scattered everywhere in the room.
Ankle-deep like snow all over my office. The place looked ransacked.
During the clean-up, I came across quite a few things that I hadn’t seen in awhile.
One of the things I came across was the September 24, 2001 issue of the New Yorker magazine. It was the first issue after 9/11
On the very last page, was the following poem, which moved me again and maybe even more so thinking about the state of our world which has taken a hard right turn in the last 9 years.
It seems that the suffering of sentient beings and the earth, is on turbo.
I personally think it’s a time now, more than ever, that we need poets. And artists of all kinds. They are the superhero’s that can steer this boat back onto a course that is more sane and gentle and humane.
Don’t give up on this world. And to me, that means staying connected to the soft spot in ourselves, continuing to disarm ourselves internally, and taking any kind actions that we can toward the greater good of restoring and cultivating peaceful abiding.
Here’s the poem:
TRY TO PRAISE THE MUTILATED WORLD
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
– Adam Zagajewski (Translated, from the Polish, by Claire Cavanagh)
PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAIG BIALICK @Ogmin