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Saturday, October 3, 2009

And yet, and yet...more on letting go

David, I've been thinking about your lovely mini-essay on Letting Go for the past two weeks, and the theme of letting go seems to keep appearing in my life right now (or perhaps it is always appearing my life but I'm actually noticing it right now!?!). When I read your wise words, I thought of what a difficult human struggle it is to do so, at all life-course stages, and also how crucial it is to help each other learn how to do so over and over again.

I am reminded one of my favorite poems by Stanley Kunitz, The Long Boat:

When his boat snapped loose
from its mooring, under
the screaking of the gulls,
he tried at first to wave
to his dear ones on shore,
but in the rolling fog
they had already lost their faces.
Too tired even to choose
between jumping and calling,
somehow he felt absolved and free
of his burdens, those mottoes
stamped on his name-tag:
conscience, ambition, and all
that caring.
He was content to lie down
with the family of ghosts
in the slop of his cradle,
buffeted by the storm,
endless drifting.
Peace! Peace!
To be rocked by the Infinite!
As if it didn't matter
which way was home;
as if he didn't know
he loved the earth so much
he wanted to stay forever.

Also, the morning you posted your Letting Go piece, I read a haiku by a Japanese Buddhist who was writing 200 years ago or so named Kobayashi Issa. It, too, resonated:

This world of dew
is a world of dew,
and yet, and yet.

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