Beside the Famosa Slough

We are the sum total of all the experiences
that brought us to this point –
the open hiways, the dead ends,
the musts, the shouldnts,
the love, the scorn,
the gifts received and given,
the times alone and in company,
the elation, the grief,
the connections, the disintegrations.
More than this,
we’re a product of all those we kissed.
Looking at a birth chart,
so much was predictable:
yet we did not know it,
or weren’t ready to hear:
the tasks given to each alone, which we sought to fulfill,
some with applause, some indifference,
some useful to the world, some only to us.
For each a different footpath to discern;
having in common, discovery of a topography of meaning
to populate each self-made landscape
wherein we seek an authenticity, within constraints
which sustain the ego, and give each life its form –
probabilities as programd for us, as for a palm or samphire:
snake and deer alike, products of environmental logic.

So …
sitting above this lagoon at high tide,
I watch the fingers of water caress the web of knowing plants,
all unaware yet fully-conscious of a life heuristic.
When I come down I shall be different:
in descending I do not change.
If I become what I was not,
then I have already been what I could be.
The subtle dynamics of life lying always
between the hills of irreconcilable opposites,
over a pass that is invisible
until we have left the valley.
Each outcome a new birth, neither one nor other:
change lying only in our acceptance
of the new synthesis, without
clinging to its parent duality.

The hearing eye, the seeing ear –
The unwritten novel, the unrecorded CD –
The seconds before the avalanche of love …
In pregnancy of doubt we cherish a divine uncertainty all fear:
a nomansland that is neither hesitation nor commitment:
the silences in music when all possibilities open –
engulfing terror as we await our entrance –
These release the ego into volitionless being,
articulating the paradox within which lies truth.
It is not in the nature of the universe to provide unequivocal statements:
Everything is conditional and contingent, until, suddenly,
without warning, we see all the elements aligned, and then,
if we seize the moment and respond, revelation comes.

Looking here within this poem to discern its dynamic
I wonder what it called me here to hear?
At standing water between two tides, in a salt-water sanctuary
beaten by sun, for what message I am merely the secretary?
What enigmatic meaning is seeping out like marsh gas, unnoticed …
silently amplifying itself to apocalypse or epiphany?

Looking here within this life to discern its dynamic
what am I told? How? Who is speaking?
At high tide, does the foaming water demand
immersion, or advise retreat?
Only the heart knows which direction this synchronistic moment invites …
On (or back) to triumph? Back (or forward) to defeat?
All turns on openness of attitude to the unknown.

So …
The search for truth: an attunement:
an unmediated negotiation
between beauty, economy
and proportionality;
And the delicate thing in all this:
the role of the inner teacher –
the absorbed otherness,
the indwelling not-I
With whom we must make peace
before fertility comes;
the heredity to be embraced,
willingly or otherwise:
Often, as a healing crisis
in which the collapse of ego
allows one's separate I to drop
into its embracing ocean of not-I.
Some dramatise this encounter in terms of
angels or Jedi; but it leads back, finally,
to a naked encounter with a burning bush,
in whose crucible the sacred I AM is forged.