Tuesday, May 3, 2016

a deficit disorder

reordered by nature

sometimes when I’ve found the way
to work myself up into unbridled nature,
I’ve brought within me concerns
that pull my attention away
from the spirited cacophony
of mazing forest and fluidly live stream,
that bridle me as some worldly anxiousness rides me,

I remember well a gorgeously wintry snowfall up here 
when I could only think of needing a car
and figuring what monthly payments we might manage,
visions of figures dancing in my head
when a wonderland presented itself before my eyes,

today I wrench myself away from all the “doing”
that defines me and gives me self-worth,
all the connections I work so hard to build and maintain:
students, colleagues, wife, the needs of household and garden,
all those important ties that help tell me
who I am and that give me worth,

as I drive across North Carolina by myself,
I find myself alone and scared,
I question who I am and who I could be
without the ever-present definition
of me in connection to the other,
I love other people,
I see them, feel the effort of their being,
and applaud every step forward each can make,

yet I also get tired,

most important to me? my wife,
together we make a one,
even there, though, I need an absence
so that I can reboot
and find myself more present to each moment,

on the drive I feel lost for a time
until my systems start waking up anew
and I find wildflowers on mountain top and within the valley,
until I follow through on logistics
for bringing my students up into the mountains
from whence can cometh their own rebooting,

all of us can be disordered
when we suffer from the absence of nature,

as I start to write this poem,
five kids start up the creek:
exploring, yelling, discovering, rebooting their own selves,

now I need more to hear the silence of the woods
and the self-contained murmuring of the stream
than the exuberance of kids, now healing in nature,
so I wander up into the woods, deeper than usual,
and I almost realize the center before me,
the grounding I need,
until a multitude of bugs 
distracts me into annoyance.

by Henry H. Walker
April 29, ’16

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

WOW...you write like Thoreau...I love it.