Thursday, January 24, 2013

My work is loving the world....


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Mary Oliver's love of nature might be seen in the way she addresses it as addressing a good friend, as in "When I Am Among the Trees," where she says

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, "Stay awhile."

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,

"and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine."


While Mary Oliver here is naming her specific work of loving and being nurtured by nature, at the same time, she reminds us each of other similar work of Love...

Coming from a perspective of loving Jesus and his teachings, I oft remember his beautiful
statement that his work was/is to do the Will of Him who sent him...

Although we are oft imperfect in the task of doing the Divine understanding today is that by seeking that will with all our heart, soul & mind...we can sometimes find our way back to that central life-force to be given all that might be required for this one day, this one hour, this one relationship, this one need to be aware....and most of all to find the way to Love specific to what is required and beyond.



Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

What a joy, delight and pleasure these beautiful lines provided, rather a complete course of blissfulness. There is no escape for us from love, we human beings have to love and be loved, this is the only reason of our life and the only purpose of living.

CN said...

How well you have added to this post. And how beautifully you live out your own faith.

Thank you for the confirmation -- I needed your voice -- just before I go forward toward the active part of my day...

To seek to follow Allah's guidance -- the path of loving needed for this particular day in my family's life.

M Umer Toor said...

How beautifully Frithjof Schuon has described the function of poetry even for brainy people:

Dialectic convinces us with ideas,
So that we may understand things abstractly;
Poetry has feeling, works with images
And seeks thereby to soften the austerity of thought —So that we may see the truth with our heart.

robert said...


Thank you so much for this.

I love the words...

"My work is loving the world."

This says it all,

All good wishes,


CN said...

Dear robert and M. Umer Toor:

So glad I saw both of your encouraging comments today.

Yes, Mr. Toor, I agree that poetry at it's best can certainly be a healing agent in our world in a unique way -- serving a need not usually filled by other fields/sciences/writing.

I have visited some of the writings of contemplative/mystic/bridge:
Frithjof Schuon & found his work interesting to say least. Now, I intend to revisit him soon...


robert, I am so glad you appreciated this line...for me, it's a revisiting of the enigma of what some of us have often been taught early -- to love NOT the world -- understandable concern...yet as we interpret poetic as well as prophetic wisdom -- we can know through & through that loving the world, ie, creation, the divine force, the people & creatures within the world, even in a sense all the nations & seas within the world is a completely different thing...
than the injunctions taught which sound otherwise.

CN said...

Those who have meant well in our religious/spiritual systems may often have been well-meaning when they warned lovers of God & Eternal Life not to love some world systems. I have understood that the best of these teachings which sound anti-world in general may be a bit like the best of the nonviolent occupy or peace movement. These may challenge us all to find more life-giving solutions than mere materialism and greed based on the unfair misuse of money, power and suppression.

Whereas to truly love the world in the best/highest sense is common to our saints, prophets & wisest teachers/activits...

By these later we are taught to honor our common life-instincts, longings and natural need to cooperate & love...

We are taught to honor someone simply because they are a human being like we are...

To find a way to help bring about healing to our world includes the land, the people & all the creatures within the world...

This is especially, I understand today, to love the particular person or part of the world which needs healing which is set before us right now... give our very best without denying our own integrity and care for ourself...

To seek the will of the Divine of our own most honest understanding...

To say Help sometimes and to ask for the Divine will...

To say Thank You often...

To hold one another in the Light...

How do you live out loving the world?