A New Way
by Elizabeth Reeke
“Summer was like your house: you knew
Where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
As onto a vast plain. Now
The immense loneliness begins.”
— “Dich wundert nicht des Sturnes Wucht”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Love Poems to God
Truck bombs and drones
And suicide bombing;
Tsunami and tornadoes
And melting glaciers,
Dying polar bears, fishes, corals;
Parched lands and droughts and starvation;
Killings, child abuse and addiction;
All around us our earth is crying;
All around us its people are dying;
All around us its people are crying, are searching, are beseeching.
For far too long have we knelt at those same altars,
For far too long have we been but mendicant monks living on alms,
Hiding our heads when we have no answers,
Grasping tightly at our fear and self-doubt and insecurity,
Waiting for someone else, someone else’s gods, to show us the answers.
Meanwhile, all around us, those undeniable voices of anguish continue;
Voices that cry out for a way to cope,
A way to respond to the level of pain and sorrow that surrounds us,
Those voices that tear at our hearts and mingle with our own.
Our time is short, the time has come for each of us to finally surrender;
Surrender to the not-knowing, to step out onto that plain,
To risk all to a new way of being in this world we find is ours,
To risk not finding an answer, not knowing where the path may lead us,
Setting a new course down a new path,
A path of strength and possibility;
Not turning from the hard task of ever deeper levels of forgiveness,
Not turning from ever deeper levels of loving, from deeper levels of prayer;
Learning to live peace and forgiveness and humility in our own lives
So that we might fashion ourself into a source of light and strength;
A way forward to counter the forces of pain and negativity,
A guide for our thoughts and actions, an inspiration for our art.
Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Reeke.