The Conference will be held from 4pm Friday, May 23 until 12 noon Monday, May 26, 2014. The Conference is held at the Mendocino Woodlands Camp, in Mendocino County. Built by down-and-out men of the [...]
Essence: Poetry from the Conference, Part 1
June 6, 2010
This entry marks the first of a series bringing some of the poetry that spoke to us so deeply at the Conference two weeks ago. They will be published in no particular order. These first two were spoken by Hari Meyers.
I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
and patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
long, difficult repentance, realisation of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself
from the endless repetition of the mistake
which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.
- D. H. Lawrence
Then, inside the first section or prologue to the Joseph story as Hari was referring to Jacob’s wrestling with the angel, he recited this remarkable poem:
The Man Watching
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
- Rainer Maria Rilke