Words That Transform

by Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Exploration & Education

Have you ever come across a quote, a story, or a poem that really makes you pay attention?  Maybe this piece of writing transforms you with its words, lingering and growing in size and meaning. I’ll come across something and think: “I need to keep this and study this because it feels important.”  This happens to me frequently, so therefore I keep and study a lot of writings. I am fortunate that I have a small platform in which I can share my enthusiasm. I can share wise words gifted to me by others, with the classes I teach and the groups I facilitate. Today, in this monthly nugget, I will certainly share too. Thank you for indulging me.

Below is a poem I want to read again and again, and get to know, like a song, a prayer, a familiar and comfortable wisdom.

things to remember as this world dies
you did not come here to pay bills and die
nor did you come to build the fortunes
of those destroying the Earth
Imagine instead
that you came to gather precious things
fallen from the pockets of Ancient Ones
as they fled the desert’s march –
each a reminder of something
they pledged never to forget

Things like
how to call birds by name with your whistle
which news to tell the bees
and which to share only with the moo
how to tell a parliament from a conspiracy
a colony from a convocation

Things like
Nature has no race or nation, class or creed
except when humans seek to deceive –
division designed to sever you
from kith and kin and buddha-mind

Things like:
the antidote to oppression
is not freedom but belonging
the opposite of domination is communion
the medicine you need
is always outside your door
and there’s likely a wise woman
two streets away
to show you how to use it

These things were left to help us remember
how each world before has ended
and how each death became a door to new life
and how this world wants to take you in her arms
and make of you a lover
and have you listen to the land
talk to the stream
find meaning in the silence of trees
and wisdom on the singing breeze

Listen a while to discover
the right season for all the ten thousand things
the ninety-nine names we use for our own divinity
how to share power
so it cannot be captured by the vain and greed
how to step into the flow of life
and make of the Earth a common treasury for all beings
how to map the stars
learn the lesson of each constellation
and still know there is more in heaven and earth
than any of us were ever meant to know

So fill your pockets as this world dies
knowing some of it will guide you to the next
and some will fall to the ground
in time to be found
by those who’ll bring the world back to life.”

By Chris Taylor, from Permaculture Design Magazine.

May you find the time and space to be transformed by the beautiful and important works around you.

In Peace,

Robin Mitzcavitch