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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Put Your Lips to The World and Stillness and Movement This Saturday

A couple days ago, while working at the computer, Erin invited me to pause, and listen to Mary Oliver reading her poem:

Mornings at Blackwater

For years, every morning,
I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.

What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
And live
your life.

From Red Bird

I had read the poem before, had listened to Mary reading it before – but always, with poetry and life, the one who was sitting and listening to it in that moment had never heard it, not quite in that way. The goosebumps came freshly and uniquely.

“What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.”

That line has been with me the last few days as a reminder…a question…

Where do I hold back from putting my lips to the world and living my life?

Where am I replaying, or re-investing in dynamics and stories of my past that are no longer life-giving?

I am reminded of the great passage from The Once and Future King:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

-T.H. White

We all have our conditioning, our DNA, our unique family history, our resume´ of major screw-ups and successes, the traces of growing up in our culture…and we have have the capacity to not be bound by these.

We can always learn, we can open to presence, we can come to the ponds or the rivers of our imaginations, the harbors of our longings, and live our lives…

p.s. We still have some space for our Awareness Through Stillness and Movement workshop on Saturday…click here to join us.

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