Creeping into our shells
Some people are already having a hard time in the recession. I can see it on their faces in the village. And I’m sure there are also many others who are having worse, and who are at home, deeply worried.
If you are one of them, and arrived at this post this weekend, I hope I might persuade you to think back to when you were a kid in the school yard. What you really hated were the times when other kids wouldn’t play with you. It was in these times, that we creep into our shell.
But not so, when the teacher took our ball away. We didn’t go home, or shrink back. Not at all. We thought up another game. And we stuck together.
Sticking together, or solidarity, is the key to surviving bad times, and enjoying them too!
If you are still reading, I have two poems for you. The first is called Wild Geese, and it is by Mary Oliver. In short, it tells you not to beat yourself up, and to come back out to the yard to play.
The second, I stumbled on the web last night. It is a love poem, by Nizar Qabbani, and though written by a man for a woman, it reminds us, that togetherness and belonging come from commitment.
Back in those school yard days, there was always one kid, who kept us together and suggested other games.
Come with me
Reach out to someone this weekend?
It does not need to be expensive. A smile for people in the shops. A chat over the fence with your neighbour. A walk with a friend. A companionable cup of tea.
You may not know whom, but somone may need your solidarity very badly.
Here are the two poems. I hope they give you comfort and inspiration.
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clear blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
by Nizar Qabbani
I do not resemble your other lovers, my lady
should another give you a cloud
I give you rain
Should he give you a lantern, I
will give you the moon
Should he give you a branch
I will give you the trees
And if another gives you a ship
I shall give you the journey.
P.S. If you own the copyright for either poem, please do let me know. And to the authors, I thank you.
- Poetry to remind us that withdrawing doesn’t solve rejection
- The ups and downs of the Hero’s story
- Pleasure, engagement and meaning for a good life
- Poetry of hope for hard times
- I don’t believe in charity – I believe in solidarity
- Discovering poetry: Shel Silverstein
- Deciding what you want to do is the really hard part, doing it is easy
- Write because I am curious about my audience?
- The psychological significance of the poetry by William Carlos Williams
- The crystal clarity found in the bitterly cold winter of our lives