BLOG Thawing

forest 1

I’ve been out of town the last few days, on the West Coast. It’s a time of great change for me, a time of coming unfrozen, of astonishing learning and self-discovery and joy and sadness and realization. For the first time in decades I’m really living in the moment, raw, open, vulnerable, present. It’s almost more than I can bear, filled with more emotion than I thought I was still capable of.

It’s going to take me a long time to process it, and I don’t know if I will ever be able to express it in words. Ideas are so simple to say in our strange human languages, and feelings are so hard. I think much of what I write for the next while will be poetry and music, because their languages are at least better suited to communicating, conveying emotion.

I’ve been waiting for this, looking for this, for a long time. Sitting here with a cat named Jez curled up on my coat beside me, in this small strange room. Crying a lot, listening to music that has come to guide me, to stand for me, to say for me the really important things I can’t say. Yet so happy, to have found this again.

Bear with me, I’ll be back. It’s all good. I love you, dear readers. You have been my lifeline for nearly six years now. We are connected in ways that can never be broken. You are all a part of me. I give you a virtual hug, for the long and wonderful journey that still awaits us. Hope to keep seeing you, traveling beside me, sweet “too far ahead” friends.


A Timbered Choir
, by Wendell Berry
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.

I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned
at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories
where the machines were made that would drive ever forward
toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw
the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley;
I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city.
I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered
footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.

Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments
of those who had died in pursuit of the objective
and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according
to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget
that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective
as if nobody ever had pursued it before.

The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective.
the once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free
to sell themselves to the highest bidder
and to enter the best paying prisons
in pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies,
which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects,
which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress,
to the completed sale, to the signature
on the contract, which was to clear the way
to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go home
would ever get there now, for every remembered place
had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.

Every place had been displaced, every love
unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant
to make way for the passage of the crowd
of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless
with their many eyes opened toward the objective
which they did not yet perceive in the far distance,
having never known where they were going,
having never known where they came from.

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14 Responses to Thawing

  1. “Nothing exists for its own sake, but for a harmony greater than itself which includes it. A work of art, which accepts this condition, and exists upon its terms, honors the Creation, and so becomes a part of it”Wendell Berry, on poetry

  2. Theresa says:

    Makes me think of the Song Amazing Grace.Best wishes for 2009!

  3. Mariella says:

    My best wishes for 2009 too… to you and all the “How to Save the World” bloggers…!! This is a nice, creative, nutritious community.. thanks for that.!

  4. Sarah says:

    I LOVE this poem. I had never read it before. Thank you for sharing it.I’m glad you are finding the time and space to live fully. Enjoy. Happy New Year!

  5. vera says:

    Best always, Dave. May this year bring you closer to the divine kingdom that is within and among us. Thank you for this wonderful blog.

  6. John Graham says:

    Hi Dave, I was moved by your December 12 reflection on the past`year. Your summing up made me appreciate the cumulative effect of checking out your blog for two and a half years – thank you. That post seems now like a kind of closure of a stage; all the best in opening up to whatever is next.John

  7. Dave–Thank you for reaching in and keeping us connected to you. Trite as it may sound, we are here.

  8. David Parkinson says:

    Thanks for all you do. Here’s hoping that 2009 brings something good for us all, amidst the chaos and weirdness.

  9. Sending you a hug, dave.And blessings for a wonder-, joy-, love-, fun-full 2009.natalie

  10. Simon Hazelton says:

    Enjoy the experience Dave. Happy new Year.

  11. Siona says:

    I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that hopes you’ll never really come back, Dave, and that you’ll just keep opening into that beautiful, blissful, living moment. Happy 2009. :)

  12. beth says:

    Mmmmm. I find that I am … jealous, actually. Bravo you!

  13. Dave Pollard says:

    Thank you, dear friends. It’s kind of amazing what you can convey with mere words when you’re really in the moment, overflowing with feeling, and also paying attention to what you’re writing, choosing your words carefully. This, I guess, is the true act/art of creation. Hard work, but what art is really about.

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