Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a hard hike and an open soul

I need the tonic

I need a retreat from school, a strategic withdrawal,
I have been at my social best the last week:
a “pickin’” at our house

with music, visiting,
and eating enough to give thanks,
casting a play so that kid after kid, person after person,
can find the way home to being their best,
having a Day of the Dead so that many of us can be larger
because we remember, and, in that remembering, honor,
and, in that honoring,
we open ourselves anew to feel the pain
that must be there for the joy to come in, too,

and I have been there for each and every class and student,
as best I can, and it has been hard, and good,
throughout all my work I labor to find and hold the vision:
to find and hold each of us who strive to bring ourselves true enough
so that a difference can be made that matters,

so much of who I am is social,
for I have my gifts and it’s in connection that I must use them,
and I love to make a difference,

so much of me is other,
and I need the tonic of forest and stream, of elk and bear,
of a hard hike and an open soul.

by Henry Walker
October 29, ’10

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