Everything is Waiting for You

My good friend, Kyle, introduced me to the poet David Whyte some time ago and again today she reminded me of him. The following poem is very poignant and timely for me in this day.

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press

The Rider

After a long weekend of binge eating and drinking, I headed out to the Munger Trail yesterday for a nice long, solo bike ride. It was one of those “just what the doctor ordered” kind of rides. I had been feeling in a lonely funk for part of the day. Not sure how to pin that kind of feeling down until I read this poem. There are stretches of the Munger that run so straight that the trail just disappears on the horizon. I didn’t see a soul out there in certain areas and I would stop and pick wild strawberries in the quietness of it all. It was a weird sensation to be sandwiched by that kind of remoteness.

The trail descends ever so slightly on the way back to Duluth—I rode it out to Carlton and back—and you can really let it rip on your bike. The air was warm and there was a nice breeze, so I just put the hammer down. After the bike ride, I felt refreshed and free. Such a great feeling to have. I left my loneliness panting behind me somewhere on the Munger. 27 miles of freedom for the soul.

 

The Rider

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

—Naomi Shihab Nye

Fog

I was up at 3:30am listening to thunder and lightening cracking like a whip over the city and a deluge of rain pounding the windows. What a beautiful time to be awake. I just laid there with my thoughts and let the rain lull me back to sleep. When I crawled out of bed at 6:30am, I was met with a blanket of grey outside. The air was dense, almost like you could swallow it when you breathe. The taste of fog is palpable today.

FOG
By Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Instructions For A Bad Day

I saw this for the first time last night on a friend’s blog and it’s simply beautiful and moving, as great poetry happens to be. This is one of those pieces that you’ll want to save in your pocket for those days when life is tough or just any day for that matter. There are so many amazing parts to this poem. It’s called Instructions For A Bad Day by Shane Koyczan.

 

Mindful

Every day
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for –
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world.

—an excerpt from “Mindful” by Mary Oliver

I will not die an unlived life

I came across this poem the other day by Dawna Markova. This poem is one of those things that comes into your life right when you need it most. Thank you universe!

 

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear

of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible;

to loosen my heart

until it becomes a wing,

a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance,

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom,

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

A Psalm of Life

My good friend Marcus sent me this promo for a trail race in Africa this afternoon and boy did it strike a chord! The footage is accompanied by the narration of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem A Psalm of Life. It’s a beautiful reminder to live life now and act in the present. It’s also an inspiring video that makes me want to run 120K. Could there be anything better?!

In other news, the foot is starting to make a turn for the better. After taking about a month off, I started running again last week, nice and easy. It feels so good and promising. One step at a time.

Lesotho Wildrun Promo from D4 PRODUCTIONS | Andrew King on Vimeo.

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou are, to dust thou returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, – act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sand of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solenm main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

The Wonderful Weekend

The Lake Superior swims were perfect and much needed this hot, hot weekend in Duluth. This was one of the best, relaxing weekends I’ve had in a while. These are the days we remember in the cold, darkness of winter. It’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy these days. I don’t need much—beautiful morning trail runs with some of my favorite people, delicious homemade breakfast meals, warm beach sand, soaking in cool Lake Superior, laughter and agates…many, many agates! I found the second and third largest of my life yesterday…Minnesota gold.

Here’s a beautiful poem by Adrienne Cecile Rich that always reminds me of days/weekends like this one:

HOLIDAY
Summer was another country, where the birds
Woke us at dawn among the dripping leaves
And lent to all our fetes their sweet approval.
The touch of air on flesh was lighter, keener,
The senses flourished like a laden tree
Whose every gesture finishes in a flower.
In those unwardened provinces we dined
From wicker baskets by a green canal,
Staining our lips with peach and nectarine,
Slapping at golden wasps. And when we kissed,
Tasting that sunlit juice, the landscape folded
Into our clasp, and not a breath recalled
The long walk back to winter, leagues away.

 

Before You Know It

Here’s an excerpt from a poem called Before You Know It written by my dear friend, Kyle Elden, over at Grace Intoxicated. She’s working on compiling her poetry into book form and I couldn’t be more excited for her! She’s a very talented writer and wonderfully awesome friend. I absolutely love the part “even more reasons to be fully alive, to move forward” … that’s some good stuff right there. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

Before you know it
you smile again
find yourself humming,
singing out loud when alone
a prayer of gratitude spilling from
your lips as you catch the sunrise
spreading light across the morning
soaking the sky with the deepest pink
imaginable
and you know there are a million
ways to hide from your heart
a thousand reasons to be sad or scared
but even more, even more reasons to be
fully alive
to move forward
as the hawks are called forth
to migrate, over and over again,
to wherever there is more bounty