Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A morning poem

I mentioned (I think) in an earlier post that I have begun to start my day at The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor as he reads a bit about authors and a chosen poem, a much more soothing and inspiring way to start my day than looking at my Email or, much worse than my Email (which is really not bad, just too much of a good thing), reading the 'headlines' on Yahoo.

I figure that since I missed Mary Oliver until a month ago, I know there must be many poets (and other authors) I have missed. Some names are familiar, but I cannot say that I have read much of what Garrison Keillor highlights on this daily show, which makes me a bit sad, knowing I will never 'catch-up' but can only sample and savor the words and thoughts of these enduring authors. At least, I feel I will be partaking of the 'best of the best'.

Today's poem was The Starfish by Robert Bly. I sent that poem to a friend, the friend who first showed me tidal pools along the Pacific Ocean. I'll never forget the wonder of that day. We did not see a starfish, but I was looking for one. As a health care provider, I have always loved the Starfish Story by Loren Eisley, the young boy gently helping each 'beached' starfish get back to the sea, back home, back to health and wellness, but I am also that person and health care provider who worries and thinks about what caused those starfish to all 'beach', thus I have shifted professional focus to concentrate on changing the bigger system(s) that are promoting disease, i.e., beaching, rather than health.

I will never be the one person to entirely change 'the system(s)' where change is needed in so many ways, so many places in order to promote health, instead of disease, for our communities. However, that does not mean I should do nothing. I can do my part of the change by what I am doing, without even fully understanding or seeing the enormity of the problems. I am working more on 'systems' now, but working in tandem with many of my friends/colleagues who are helping each ill starfish get back to the sea. It takes all of us working together to create a balanced, healthier world.

I never had the opportunity to show my own children a starfish in a tidal pool. Life would truly be grand if I still have the chance to share this wonder with them, seeing a tidal pool rich with life, complete with a starfish, living a starfish life as it should be, connected to all the other life in that pool plus the wider ocean, not beached by the thousands for 'unnatural causes'.

I love starting my day with poetry. I find that listening to a poem makes me think, helps to give me courage and hope for the day, plus uplifts my heart. Yahoo (and most 'news' sources to be truthful) cause me to start my day by gnashing my teeth and/or breaking my heart.

I realize that I haven't yet shared the poem that won the Poetry Slam evening at the MOSES organic farming conference. I will do that in a later post. (so many ideas for posting, so little time with being a full-time farmer, too, and my memory cuts out on me more often than I like to admit, too) :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Maru said...

Someone heard this poem on the radio and told me it reminded them of my life. I hunted it down somewhere and I cried the first time I read it. It still reminds me of my life, even more so since surviving my own bout with cancer:


By Orval Lund
For Kent Cowgill

A trout sometimes leaps up
right out of the water
to take your fly, then dives
for rock, log, weeds, ledge,
anything shading sun
in its clear waterworld,
slicing your line in wild

geometry, hurling
its body into air
against your arcing rod.
Sometimes – face it – you end
life by taking it in hand
and cracking its head
so you can taste its gold,

but most of the time
you hold its silver
and release your death
from its jaw, full of awe
as it lies stunned on silt,
slips back into
its skin, vanishes.

It’s then you wonder why
you’re a creature who eats life
but also plays it in hand.
O Lord, help me to feel
The hook that plays me.
But so many times,
so many times, lets me go.

Diana Dyer said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing this poem, both arresting and liberating...........may you have years and years ahead of you being truly alive, with gratitude for today and a more clear awareness of your place in it.

Cancer survivorship, being let go, maybe even again, offers us that gift.

Diana :)