In the Woods

A Japanese study revealed forest landscapes are therapeutic and reduce stress.

Steady yourself with trees.
Grasp the lower branches and hold on.
Yes, like that. Greet the hemlock
without fear. (Think Socrates.)

You can pass through a woods
entire this way, going from tree
to tree over rough ground,
your moving-forward steps

inevitable in a life lived beyond
the steps of what you’ve called
your home, and on to the home
on the other side of this great
woods you have already entered.

(Don’t even think about turning back.)
Even now the sun is gone; darkness
settles like an old friend into your
common soul. Steady yourself
now with the presence of trees.

Who can order the Holy?

In her introduction to Cries of the Spirit, A Celebration of Women’s Spirituality, published in 1991 by Beacon Press, Marilyn Sewell wrote:

Who can order the Holy? It is like a rain forest, dripping, lush, fecund, wild. We enter its abundance at our peril, for here we are called to the wholeness for which we long, but which requires all we are and can hope to be.


Notice for Penobscot Bay, Maine

The ferry to Vinalhaven is cancelled
today. At a distance I wonder who or
what in the natural world is responsible
for the delay––the gale that has blown
for three days, lifting towers of gray
waves? Sickness? Death?
All old friends
to island dwellers who roll the dice
each day of life on this rocky ledge,
and on this green sea, where they
and fish are meet to tell their stories.

To Paraphrase …

To Paraphrase …

“The movement of the universe is toward symmetry
according to Archibald MacLeish,
and that according to his physicist friend––
very young, and very brilliant––
who offers mathematical reasons
MacLeish does not understand.”

From a conversation with Archibald MacLeish and Bill Moyers, March 7, 1976

What he did understand was love.
While there is nothing in symmetry to which one would turn
with a broken heart
(“You don’t weep on the bosom of symmetry,” he said.)
the real vocabulary, it seems to me, in which one
can catch the nature … of the spirit, the entity
that has to do with our lives and their meaning,
that perhaps knows the meaning of our lives,
is very much closer to ourselves through the channel,
the medium of love.
And to me the fundamental truth of Jesus
is that he does move love into the center
of human experience. Love is the answer
to the mystery of the Universe––a bit more childish
than I want to be and yet, there is something there.
There is something there.