These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, ‘How much is that?’ Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.
What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.
Where did you go? “Nowhere.”
What did you have to eat? “Nothing much.”
Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.
Start a huge, foolish project,
It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it’s best, night and
day, to make you everyone else– means to fight the hardest battle any
human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e e cummings
Life is no less complex and mysterious than it has always been. That we dwell in enormous cities, and invent and use astonishing machinery, does not simplify it, but continually reveals the dissolution of limit after limit to physical possibility. Our still tentative awareness of the great gulfs of the unconscious, in constant transformation like the marvelous cloudscapes one sees from a jet plane, must surely lead to awe, not to supposed simplicity. Therefore if our poetry is to seek truth—and it must, for that is a condition of its viability, breath to its lungs—then it cannot confine itself to…direct statement, but must allow for all the dazzle, shadow, bafflement, leaps of conjecture, prayer and dream-substance of that quest.
—Denise Levertov, “An Admonition”
This one sets out on a surprise journey through dangers that will never be completely perceived, but the dangers and aid will balance, and luck will out in the end. The journey will find you sitting on your couch just as easily as it will on the trail. All choices are actions with consequences, even making no choice at all. So might as well raise a finger to the wind and sail on with a wind at your back and the edge of the world always just beyond the line of the horizon.
How to Be a Fool
Most likely you are standing
or moving on a well beaten path
right now look down
thousands of footprints
in the mud and dust,
or up at the sky and trees overhead
see without time
a moment in space
only you can speak