Leaving the city, I travel quickly
To move slowly
And see the sunset spreading rubies across yellow gorse.
I say to myself, "this is living deeply."
But the blind man!
Leaving the office bustle, I dash between traffic
To tread softly
On lawn clippings, to hear birds clawing through twig piles for their nest's next layer.
I say to myself, "these are simple pleasures."
But the deaf girl!
Leaving week-day madness, I drive through suburbs
To step head-bowed
Under consecrated arches, through filtered light and careful stillness.
I say to myself, "here is holiness."
But the outcast!
Staying put, I live dangerously,
Through hungry cities, bloody villages, lonely crossroads.
My companions are the blind man, the deaf girl, the outcast.
It is the darkness that speaks to me. It is the agony night which whispers truth.
I wrote this back in 2001. I think of it as a poetic restatement of an earlier post about retreat versus engagement.