To go in to the dark with a light is to know the light.

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,

and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings

and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings. 

                          --Wendell Berry

                                   Love Dogs 


                                          One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!

                                       His lips grew sweet with praising,

                                    until a cynic said, “So!

                                        I’ve heard you calling our, but have you ever

                                    gotten any response?”

                                     The man had no answer to that. 

                                       He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

                                     He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,

                                    in a thick, green foliage.

                                    “Why did you stop praising?” “Because

                                     I’ve never heard anything back.”

                                  “This longing you express

                                 is the return message.”

                               The grief you cry out from

                              draws you toward union.

                          Your pure sadness

                          that wants help

                           is the secret cup.

                             Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.

                              That whining is the connection.

                          There are love dogs

                             no one knows the names of.

                        Give your life

                        to be one of them.





The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity. 

Surely some revelation is at hand; 

Surely the Second Coming is at hand. 

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man, 

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. 

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, 

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


A Ritual to Read to Each Other

~William Stafford

If you don't know the kind of person I am

and I don't know the kind of person you are 

a patter that others made may prevail in the world

and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. 


For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood

storming out to play through the broken dyke.


And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,

but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.


And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote important region in all who talk: 

though we could fool each other, we should consider --

lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. 


For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;

the signals we give -- yes or no, or maybe --

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you."

                     "Be the sky!"

"Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible."     


God speaks to each of us as he makes us, 

    These are the words we dimly hear:

     You, sent out beyond your recall,                                 
       go to the limits of your longing.
                   Embody me.

               Flare up like flame

  and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

      Just keep going.  No feeling is final. 

         Don't let yourself lose me.

    Nearby is the country they call life.

    You will know it by its seriousness.

                  Give me your hand.

Instructions for Living a Life        Mary Oliver
To Know the Dark                    Wendell Berry
Love Dogs                               Rumi
The Pond                                Abu Nada
God Speaks                             Rainer Maria Rilke
The Second Coming                  W.B.Yeats
A Ritual to Read to Each Other   William Stafford

            Instructions for Living a Life:
              Pay attention.
                      Be astonished.
                       Tell about it.
--Mary Oliver
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