Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In the End

In the end none of us
knows how the story turns
out. We walk on
from the middle of a chapter – something
undone, out of some room unfurnished
into a journey by an alien unmarked river
always dreamed about; but even it curves away
into some darkening trees.
It is enough,

on this fine day with its scent
of hay and wind
from as far away as the big lake,
to know what circles we were able
to invent in the froth of our sky,
how we drew maps
over the boundary-less earth
of our dream, the Mobius
of our own short time.

Something in us, even in sleep, wants paths.
We invent the fluid machinery to install them
and name our truths, even love,
for the convenience of pretending
we know where we are going.

That is fine.
This is no complaint. We do
what we must do, a least
the best of us, who really have no thirst
for bloodletting or the massacres in oil
and its horrendous cartography of grief,

who have learned the power in our
powerlessness
who wait for the night to be done
when our children turn back to us
even after we walk on,
to make the story ours
however it ends

and what we can do together
just by saying yes.

2 comments:

clairemolinard@gmail.com said...

Hello Bob,
Your beautiful poem struck some Taoist chords in me, so here s what comes to my heart at this moment:

Saying Yes to my powerlessness is what gives me power. When I m able to abandon all resistance, when I let go of all paths and concepts;when i say yes to the roadless map and embrace the TAO ,this is when I find freedom .

It feels good, thank you

Bob Vance said...

Thanks Claire;


Thanks for being one of the first to comment on my new blog!

This idea of giving in to one's powerlessness is a tricky one... simple yet hard to grasp and harder to implement in ones life. I don't think it automatically demands that we give up action, nor does it infer a kind of passivity that implies a kind of Calvinist predestination or lack of will. I think it is more related to developing an intuitive understanding of how to act and when, what to push against and what to allow to flow through.

In my own life I think I have been able to apply it most to how I manage my mood and relationship to negative occurrences in my life. If I speak to myself during a sad time and prevent myself from passing judgement or becoming anxious about my response to something that has happened, or a struggle I am in, the "mood" seems to pass more quickly. Actually "dissolve" might be a better way to describe what happens when I allow myself the feelings I am having and stop myself from fighting them. The "mood" becomes more about itself, lesss complicated by how I feel ABOUT the mood. I have seen this in others as well... a blue 'funk' or pervasive sadness, even depression about a situation about which it is normal and expected to feel some depression, is only worsened by pushing it down, denying its legitimacy, or devaluing it, trying to make it go away. It's a kind of "double whammy". And actually, a more serious anxiety state can result from that kind of denial or self judgement.