Wednesday, February 08, 2012

the place beyond ambition

Over the new year I bought a new book of poetry by Mary Oliver. Most nights when I go to bed I'll dig through the stack of books and notebooks to retrieve "Red Bird".

Some nights I open it once, read one poem, then return the book to the overflowing nightstand.

Some nights I open it, knowing I want to read these words, the words I've been loving on....

There Is a Place Beyond Ambition
When the flute players
couldn’t think of what to say next

they laid down their pipes,
then they lay down themselves
beside the river

and just listened.
Some of them, after a while,
jumped up
and disappeared back inside the busy town.
But the rest—
so quiet, not even thoughtful—
are still there,

still listening.

One of my fears is that in my quest for peace, happiness, and fulfillment I will be one of those flute players that only rests, only listens momentarily before rushing back into the busyness of town, the busyness of life.

I expressed this recently to Babaji. He reminded that I am at an age, a time in my life to be busy and productive in the ways in which I am. "How do I know if it's too much?" I ask him. He responds that I'll know (and I will because I've certainly been there). He assures me that I'm on the right path. That it's "too much" when I start to compromise my health and the quality of what I'm doing.

With those words, with that advise I settle in and settle down.

I sit taller. Close my eyes. Get quiet. And listen.

Then when I enter back into the busyness of life...filled with hopes, desires, dreams, and ambitions....I do so from a place of peace and ease. Some days won't be so peaceful nor easy. And I'm ok with that too.

What else is there to do?

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