not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

Sunday, May 20, 2007

from bustling, dirty, in-your-face, hot Colombo

The other day my brain was storming about "should we stay or should we go" (come December) and dreaming about all manner of things I might want to do after this work is finished. The ideas funneled around with such speed that I put my hands down on the table to steady the storm and said aloud to Leo, "I just want to grow some tomatoes."

I grumble about the difficulties that I face in my daily-life, I ache for things that are not meant to be right now, like tomatoes and trilliums and morels and time with friends and family and more time to write. But in the very same breath, deeper down, I love this time, this place. Being here in Sri Lanka with Leo. Red blossom trees in May, fireworks aka firefight in April, rainy season, cows walking against rush-hour traffic, smiles and head wobbles and slower less direct deeper ways of doing thinking being. Meeting new people, some now precious friends. A complex cast of characters in my work-life stretch my patience and understanding until I think I'll break, but I don't. God always deals me enough of the right cards to make it through the day, the week, the month, the year. Leo and I shake our heads in disbelief, swear incredulously, laugh when we're wise to the fact that all of this is truly amazing, so different.

If we begin to disassemble the schema we've built through our experience of the past 32-33 years, creating more free space in our minds and allowing ourselves to's all so rich. In the same way that really good dirt is rich. So, even though I grumble and ache and lament, I also recognize that this time is golden.

And dreams are blessings...

A Dream of Trees
by Mary Oliver

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company.
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.

There is a thing in me still dreams of trees,
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.

I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?

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