Thursday, February 5, 2009

That Voice is My Voice

“…and there was a new voice.”

Mary Oliver

I’m in the beautiful state of California and have been here for almost a week. Wow. Sunshine, warmth AND a chance to spend time with our GOTR-Sonoma County folks. Am I lucky or what? I had the opportunity to speak at a kick-off breakfast for the “Human Race.” When you get a chance. Check out their video. Very powerful, very fun and a very good idea!

Right now it is 4:52 a.m., California time and I’m preparing for a busy day of travel. The day brings rain and I can hear the traffic already building on the interstate adjacent to my “airport” hotel.

On my way here I read a book about prayer and meditation. I find that my need for quiet time seems to be on the rise. Sometimes amidst my busy day it’s nearly impossible to find it. David Keller, the author of this book, Come and See, suggests that we can find quiet in our daily work by simply applying an intention to what we are doing. EVERY experience provides an opportunity to connect with that internal voice…the quiet one that we often CAN’T hear when we are surrounded by all the noise of our have-to, should and ought-to voices.

This morning I came across a poem my Mom sent me some time ago…when I was in the midst of trying to determine which path to take at a tough time in my personal life. I was stuck at what many would call a fork in the road and I simply could not make a decision. The burden of not knowing which route to take was consuming my thoughts…and truly distracting me from the simple joys in life.

And so, as a way to honor the busy day that I have ahead of me and to seek the quiet that rests in between the suitcases, shuttles, airplanes, flight attendants and conversation with the person in the seat next to me, I want to share this poem…for those times when we are stuck…unsure…confused and anxious about where to go and to whom we should listen.

So…take a few deep breaths…three would be great…and enjoy.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

— Mary Oliver

No comments:

Post a Comment