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...the circle of life

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I can't decide what I want to do when I grow up (and if I want to get there before I die I guess I'd better begin!), I'm on a plateau physically and spiritually -- neither the body weight nor the mental weight are moving, and my sense of place and purpose are tenuous at best.

Some mornings I feel more perplexed than usual at the conundrum of life. After pondering the "why this's" and "why thats" and reading BILLBOOO's blog on getting back on-purpose, ROSALIEESTHER's on being in appreciation of life, KALIGIRL's on meditation and CRYSTALJEM's on finding the teacher within, I turned this morning to poetry, and who should pop up but a favorite, Billy Collins, always there to dish out "kitchen table wisdom." He, like my SparkFriends above, spoke to me...perhaps he will to you as well. But you can always check out the aforementioned blogs if you prefer!


I pour a coating of salt on the table
and make a circle in it with my finger.
This is the cycle of life
I say to no one.
This is the wheel of fortune,
the Arctic Circle.
This is the ring of Kerry
and the white rose of Tralee
I say to the ghosts of my family,
the dead fathers,
the aunt who drowned,
my unborn brothers and sisters,
my unborn children.
This is the sun with its glittering spokes
and the bitter moon.
This is the absolute circle of geometry
I say to the crack in the wall,
to the birds who cross the window.
This is the wheel I just invented
to roll through the rest of my life
I say
touching my finger to my tongue.

-- Billy Collins, from The Art of Drowning

Dubbed “the most popular poet in America” by Bruce Weber in the New York Times, Billy Collins is famous for conversational, witty poems that welcome readers with humor but often slip into quirky, tender or profound observation on the everyday, reading and writing, and poetry itself. John Updike praised Collins for writing “lovely poems...limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides.”

Oh, and here's one take on true happiness via David Lynch:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I always know when my soul feels unsettled that it's time to move on to a new and wise adventure. Sometimes my mind is far behind...but the's the WISE one and it ALWAYS knows.

    What is in your heart my friend? What new adventure is beckoning you forward? Ask your soul...if asked it will answer. emoticon
    2031 days ago
    Purposes are nice. But I don't think they're strictly necessary. I think sometimes, we should do, and be, what we want, and what we are, and what we might be, because it feels like a good idea at the time, or the cosmic nudge has come along.

    Are journeys better when we can see the destination, or when the destination is unknown, or unexpected, or out of reach?
    2043 days ago
    "my sense of place and purpose are tenuous at best"...

    I've always found the shortening days signal a time for reflection - a time to consider 'my' world in a new way (hence my love of your posting the flowers of fall emoticon )

    I wonder if you are not in a similar 'place' in your journey... Strange morning allowed me time to listen to an NPR clip re: thinking rationally or emotionally (verbally vs visually) and the sights and sounds of the awakening season are tugging @ the emotional sides of my brain.

    Wishing you peace my friend

    2044 days ago
    Sounds like you're in a perfect place of unstable equilibrium, as the Sufis would say. It's like when one is riding a bike sooo slowly that one begins to wobble. Or like being at the top of a sine curve shaped wave. The two choices are one, to topple in the bicycle metatphor, or slide back down the other side of the curvein the wave mataphor; or two, to make a leap by giving the push to start another different kind of impulse on the bike or in the wave metaphor make a leap over to the neighboring wave (curve) that just happens to be already rising. The second choice in both metaphors is more elegant, lighter, more fulfilling, more engaging, more you.

    Many people our age start to just let themselves topple or start to slide back down the other side of the wave. But the awake ones know that there are always rising waves that we can leap onto be a part of, and contribute to. They may be very different than what we're used to, but life knows.

    Follow the longing of the heart. That's what the inner meaning of "what to do when I'm grown up" is: living your ideal self, actuating the DNA of your soul.

    By the way you already knew all this, this was just a reminder, dear sister.

    2044 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/20/2012 7:59:41 AM
  • SUNNY332
    Do we have to "grow up"?

    Great post and love Billy Collins poetry.

    Hugs to you, Sunny
    2044 days ago
    I love Billy Collins!
    2044 days ago
    I've decided not to grow up.
    2044 days ago
    emoticon I always find a lull between the fa and so of my life's hopeful ascension. My idea is to keep lifting it up every time I get back to the la and ti emoticon

    And when you are ready, upward and onward in the circular motions of life!

    In my opinion, being grown up is over-rated anyway :)
    2044 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 3:12:57 PM
    Hi Maha, and thank you, this was really good and i'm going to check out(one take on true happiness via David Lynch) You are a very smart person, and thanks again emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2044 days ago
    Thank you Maha. I am thankful for our friendship and all you continue to teach me. I am honored to share this path with you. Im coming to realize that I just want to keep growing up. I'm not sue I ever really want to actually be grown up. Still thinking on that. May your day provide joy insight and balance. Enjoy your journey wherever it leads. emoticon
    2044 days ago
    It's something that seems so urgent yet ephemeral and elusive at the same time...pulling our lives together toward...something...

    ful poem, thx for sharing.

    2044 days ago
    Thank you Maha. emoticon emoticon

    I have a refrigerator magnet with a skeleton on it who's saying; "I still don't know what I'm going to do with my life!" I feel the same way most of the time! This to me, is like menopause; no one ever talks about it, it just comes as a surprise! I really wonder if anyone feels as though they're THERE yet.
    Until "then" though, I just keep working on the body and discovering little bits about the soul along the way.
    2045 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 9:36:32 AM
    Thanks Maha. emoticon
    2045 days ago
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