Image Credit Joe Cook
A man is killed by an adolescent running a stop sign. Another shooting is reported. Elephants are slaughtered. So many shatterings in split seconds. Terry Tempest Williams speaks of mosaics in her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World. How to live wholeheartedly amidst the shatterings of our lives is a task we humans seem to need to come to terms with or else destroy our own lives or one another or this beautiful planet. How to allow grief to ravage and restore that we might piece together a mosiac of wholeness and beauty.
A poem by William Stafford, from Ask Me, titled Watching Jet Planes Dive:
We must go back and find a trail on the ground
back of the forest and mountain on the slow land;
we must begin to circle on the intricate sod.
By such wild beginnings without help we may find
the small trail on through the buffalo-bean vines.
We must go back with noses and the palms of our hands,
and climb over the map in far places, everywhere,
and lie down whenever there is doubt and sleep there.
If roads are unconnected we must make a path,
no matter how far it is, or how lowly we arrive.
We must find something forgotten by everyone alive,
and make some fabulous gesture when the sun goes down
as they do by custom in little Mexico towns
where they crawl for some ritual up a rocky steep.
The jet planes dive; we must travel on our knees.
In this time of much violence and destruction, the poets are sending out pleas to return to the ground of our being. The fast pace of too many of us, within a culture fueled by consuming, leaves us as a people distracted, disconnected from one another, removed from the solidity of the earth and the processes of earth. “We must go back and find a trail on the ground…We must go back with noses and the palms of our hands, and climb…We must find something forgotten by everyone alive…we must travel on our knees.” We must return to the wisdom of the earth, her seasons, her slow time, her ecosystems, her restorative nature…and like the quiet nature of the soil holding seed, let her, this mysterious earth, do her transformative work on us.