So I called everyone into a circle and asked us all to join hands. Left hand under, right hand over. I reminded them that both hands over feels like control; both hands under feels like submission. Right hand over, left hand under feels like connection. I asked everyone to get silent, quiet down inside, go deep. I asked each one of us to ask a single question: "What did I come here for?" And to listen to the first answer that came up. And then to go deeper still into the heart and ask the same question: "What did I come here for?" And to listen to the still deeper, still more honest answer.
My own first answer was: control. And I felt some shame as it came up. But my second answer rang completely true. It was: renewal. That felt right.
So I woke with this thought in mind. And then I found myself remembering, without apparent reason, this anonymous poem from the 16th century:
O Western wind when will thou blow,Do you know this one? I remembered this morning having read somewhere, long ago, that this little poem was the very essence, the distillation of all lyric poetry. I love that it begins with a breath of simple longing; that it moves, in the next line, to the need for the quiet refreshment of "small rain"; that, with its sudden, noisy, monosyllabic, wonderfully blasphemous "Christ!" it shifts into a different, utterly urgent gear and opens our eyes to what this is really all about; and that it comes down to the earthy eroticism of its last line. It's about, well, of course, the desire for renewal...
The small rain down can rain?
Christ! that my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again!
And then I took George out for his pee-and-poop walk before dawn, and there was a full moon shining brilliantly out over the Pacific Ocean...
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well"