Saturday, January 08, 2005

"Consider the process of walking"

Consider the process of walking;
to throw ourselves off-balance by
falling forward and then to catch
ourselves with the other leg;
thus the journey begins;

fall and step;
everything in balance, but nothing at rest;
rise and fall of night-day
wax and wane of winter-spring
the life and death of a balance
which is always in motion
moving as the leaves move
through their own decay to become again
the life of earth
moving as the threads of warp and woof
move into the patterns of the cloth
and of those ancient textures
and of those threads of fabric
is man
neither separate nor above
but intricately and always interwoven
enmeshed is he
within the fabric of earth's thin cloak of air
within the mantle of the fragile soils
within the veils of mists and flowing water
always in motion
always becoming something else
not a thing, but a process
itself in procession out of the sun
around the sun
under the sun
without whose terrible radiance
there is no alternative
and man is the walker again
fall forward
and by pushing away once more
becomes the space walker
the upright creature with a superior view
looking down on earth
and from that height forgets his
breathing is older than his science
and is part of the process
forgets that the ripened fruits of earth
do not intend their shape or flavor
for him alone
forgets that this flesh and blood and bone
can never be free from soil and sun and rain
but are part of the process

and still there persists
the illusion of dominance
forgetting that humility means
a closeness with earth
a kinship with soil
and this is the reality from which
there is no escape

perhaps it must come to this
after the forests are destroyed
after the soils are washed away
or blown to dust
after the air and water are thick with
the poisons of man's growth
after this and so much more
will he plant his plastic flowers
in some desert to
celebrate his reverence for life

perhaps it is only through creating
the flowers that cannot die
that he will remember his own mortality
and earth's own limit

and this too is part of the process
to discover
to forget
and then to rediscover that what is enough
can only be measured against what is too much

and thus catch ourselves before
we fall, as in walking
consider then,
the process of living.


-Dirk Meyer


I've been reading this poem for years and it never ceases to amaze me.

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