Thursday, February 4, 2010

so many turnings

the arc of a life
so many twistings
and turnings.

there aren't enough
points on my life's compass.

places i've been
and backed out of.
places i'm going
with no idea
what's at the other end -
or even if there is an end.

so i dive inside
this present moment -
feel its sinuous form,
listen to its sonorous song,
dance its dervish whorl -

know it
for its knowing of me.


(hard is the journey,
hard is the journey,
so many turnings,
and now where am i?)

so when a breeze breaks waves,
bringing fair weather,
i set a cloud for sails,
cross the blue oceans!

excerpted from "hard is the journey" li po

27 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

Your poem is lovely and notably non-visual. My day today, too, felt inside the moment as if I were groping my way along a sinuous tunnel of timespace: nowhere--just here, nowhen--just now.

It turned out to the the only way I would get through the day with myself intact, and the day ended quite well.

And, yes, Elvin Jones is playing in the background as I sit by the fire.

jinksy said...

Lucky our footprints don't have to always follow in the tracks of somebody else's making...

Elisabeth said...

Footprints on snow covered railway tracks point in one direction. The idea of so many turnings and the straight trajectory of the track against your words and Li Po's evoke thoughts of my own journey. Thank you, Steven.

steven said...

ha dan! you know as a teacher that if you give yourself over to the surface of your experiencing that you will soon be lost inside an intricate maze of insignificance and then - well you're lost!!! elvin was on my buds last night . . . . some great live tunes. steven

steven said...

jinksy - so true! we create our own path. steven

steven said...

elisabeth i was hoping that the juxtaposition of the image and the words might compel readers to consider their own circuitous paths and compare them to the straight line of their imagining!!! the footprints evoke for me the many times that i have felt compelled for the shallowest of reasons to follow someone else. steven

ewix said...

Yes, we should dive inside the present moment
since it is quite unclear what will happen next.
The house in the post below is magic indeed.

You cannot imagine what delight your new header gives me.
Sun, black-etched trees
WOW!

Reya Mellicker said...

Love those railroad tracks!

Yes life is confusing, and yes it is sometimes hard. But it doesn't HAVE to be hard. Really it doesn't.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Are we not glad our tracks are all different but in the end, no matter which one we take they all lead us back home.

I left a comment under your comment on the blog about the squirrel. Pick a Peck of Pixels...

Steven...

We feed these little guys all year long. The breed twice a year and the mommas and poppas are always busy with a full nest. So to make their work easier we feel year round but don't mind it at all. Generations of them come and go as they only live about two years in the wild.

We recognize them by the size and shapes of their ears. Each generation is different. Long ears. Short Ears. Laid flat ears. Thrust forward ears. And things like that. I like to watch them and gave up trying to deny them a place at the table. They eat when they come and leave when they are full.

LOL

Thanks for the visit.

Golden West said...

Train tracks always make me think of adventure.

Marinela said...

Lovely lovely poem,I love it :)

steven said...

hello elizabeth - thanks for the thoughtful comment. i am so happy that you appreciate the header photo. i really like it a lot also! it's of a scene about two hundred metres from me. there are days when my long walk home ends with that scene. i feel incredibly fortunate. steven

steven said...

reya - suffering's optional right!! i know it doesn't have to be hard it seems that sometimes it becomes that and then your lifework is unravelling the whys and wheretofors of it all rather than forging ahead with some positive work. that's life!!! steven

steven said...

hey abe, thanks for the lovely nugget about the little buddies!!! i wonder what people think of us when we get all soft about our little furry friends?!!! have a great evening. steven

steven said...

golden west - i'm thinking of a big train adventure this summer. to vancouver with my fifteen year old son! that'd be a cool adventure. steven

steven said...

marinela - such a lovely name!! thanks for visiting and i'm glad you enjoyed this moment. steven

willow said...

Evocative snowy photo, Steven. The journey sometimes hard.

Rachel Fenton said...

I grew up right by a railway and had many hours of "fun" there!

Beautiful words, again, from you, Steven.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Lovely words. Railway tracks are so evocative and symbolic - a life line, a path, a destination ...

Meri said...

Love the way the railroad tracks appear to converge in infinity. And Willow is right: the journey is often hard.

steven said...

sure is willow!!! steven

steven said...

hey rachel - thankyou. perhaps your railside "fun" could be something to write about?! steven

steven said...

hey bonnie - i cross them every few weeks. ic an't help looking along them. i wonder about the railroad tracks in my mind more often!!! steven

steven said...

hey meri - mmm hmmmm. i know. it's frustrating to reach points in my life where i know that's my experience but i can't see its value. it usually takes a lot of time and space to reach that point. sort of like getting to the end of the railroad tracks. steven

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Clapping sounds coming from here in Texas!

Kathleen said...

hmmmmmmmmm. yes. familiar tracks.

BT said...

Oh do take your son on that trip steven. My husband Jim went camping and walking with his young son (not young now) and they clearly both gained so much from the experience.

I love railway tracks and those words are thought provoking as usual from you. My life has taken so many twists and turns I sometimes feel like a feather tossed on the breeze.