Have you ever heard something so moving that you kept remembering it days, weeks and months later?
I felt moved when I heard Throw Yourself Like Seed, a poem written by Miguel De Unamuno. I don't know much about the poet, but I've been thinking about this poem off and on for about six months... well actually four words of the poem -- "turn to the work."
Nancy Gibson, one of my kid's teachers at Case High School, read this poem to her Conflict Resolution Crew on a beautiful fall morning where I saw those rowdy teenagers lead their peers in team building exercises. This was their work and these were the words that inspired them.
I've written about my kid and this group quite a bit. So I really don't want to dwell on that. I'd prefer to focus on this poem and what the poem did for me. I wish I could read it out loud to every one of you. When you say it out loud, it has a magical presence. It reminded me of that all consuming sadness I felt when I had lost my job in October 2008. But it also reminded me how I learned to "shake off" that sadness by rededicating myself to "the work." For me, that meant understanding my own shortcomings in the job market, asking for help, and humbling myself to accept "the wheel of fate."
What I've learned over the years is how to be open to those simple and yet powerful moments. It feels a little weird at first to open yourself up to inspiration, but once you do you realize how closed off and isolated you once were. For me, inspiration came in many forms -- poems, songs, Mr. Denise's smile, my daughter's eyes, my mother's voice, and watching the CRC kids grow.
I don't know, maybe this discussion is a little hokey for some of you. But I do know -- after reading the weekly police reports and being a pretty avid news consumer -- that we could all use a little inspiration. So, I've included this poem, and a photo that I took of a section of the Berlin wall that I recently got to see at the Newseum in Washington DC. I'm hoping that you will in turn share a little inspiration here on Patch.
Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit
sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
that brushes your heel as it turns going by,
the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.
Now you are only giving food to that final pain
which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
but to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
is the work; start then, turn to the work.
Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field,
don't turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
and do not let the past weigh down your motion.
Leave what's alive in the furrow, what's dead in yourself,
for life does not move in the same way as a group of clouds;
from your work you will be able one day to gather yourself.
~ Miguel De Unamuno ~