Thursday, October 20, 2011

What We Need Is Here

Riff on the last line of Wendell Berry's line "What we need is here" from "Wild Geese" (appears here: )

...And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
~ Wendell Berry ~
From Wild Geese

What We Need Is Here

If you told me in order to be whole I would have to become ribbons at the top of the prayer wheel near Cathedral Rock, always fluttering, rising and falling, driven by the wind, I would think first about the rainbow colors of the prayer flags and not how my clear prayers would be worn away to tatters by the oceans of air brushing me

Eventually, when all my letters are rubbed out, when all I am is the thought of threads, when I have been worn smooth, worn down, worn clear as bright sky and dirt granules, worn to nubs, I know more about sufficiency. I cease hungering for more.

Later still, my prayer flag bodies are gone to thought. Bodies of air moving. I am lifted and become the wind. Everything I am becomes this grace and grit, this clear soaring. When walking in today's zephyr on Horse Thief Mesa, I walk with the parts of what I've become - the prayers-words-songs become tatter-unreadable-wind that wants to touch all of creation: brushing, sanding, burnishing.

What we need is here. The ancestors and those-coming swirl me along, scudding and skiddering, the wind makes its pronouncements by moving juniper boughs. This is thought with motion. "To be quiet in heart, and in eye clear," I stop typing and move out the window, towards stars and caverns, where I can pause and take shape as air bodies.

Finally, a l l l e t t e r s f l y o f f

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