Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wordy Saturday With Wild Woman : the Places That Heal Us

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old, 
for hope must not depend on feeling good 
and there’s the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight. 
You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality 
of the future, which surely will surprise us, 
and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction 
anymore than by wishing. But stop dithering. 
The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them? 
Tell them at least what you say to yourself.

Because we have not made our lives to fit 
our places, the forests are ruined, the fields, eroded, 
the streams polluted, the mountains, overturned. Hope 
then to belong to your place by your own knowledge 
of what it is that no other place is, and by 
your caring for it, as you care for no other place, this 
knowledge cannot be taken from you by power or by wealth. 
It will stop your ears to the powerful when they ask 
for your faith, and to the wealthy when they ask for your land
and your work.  Be still and listen to the voices that belong 
to the stream banks and the trees and the open fields.

Find your hope, then, on the ground under your feet. 
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground underfoot. 
The world is no better than its places. Its places at last 
are no better than their people while their people 
continue in them. When the people make 
dark the light within them, the world darkens.

–Wendell Berry

In these gloomy times, when it is difficult to hold onto hope, this poem speaks to us about what is solid beneath our feet: the world, our place in it, where we put our roots down, where our hearts belong.

For your challenge, write a poem about the place or places you love, the places that heal you, the ones that call to you and wrap their arms around you. Where do you go to replenish your stores of hope? What does it sing to you?

Use specifics to make the place come alive for us. It can be a garden, a forest glen, a tree, a porch swing, the shore, or a special room or home that is refuge and sanctuary, where all is safety and warmth - a place where you go to soothe your spirit. Through your words, let us see what you see, feel what you feel while you are there. Show us how you care for this place, and how this caring expands to caring about the survival of all places, all people.

Tell us what you take away with you when you leave, and how your special place on the planet allows you to keep hope alive, for the world and its many creatures. Honour the earth through the celebration of this place.

No rules: use any form you wish. Then link up. And please do visit the offerings of your fellow poets. I look forward to reading some poems of love for this beautiful planet, and the places on it that you love most.


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hi kids, it is a spectacular day on the west coast, great day for a beach walk. I am so looking forward to reading your poems about the places that knit your raveled hearts, when they need healing.

brudberg said...

Today was very good... just came back from sharing some beers with friends... great discussions, and maybe that can be a place..

brudberg said...

OK I need to go to bed now... I will be back in the morning to read.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thanks so much, Bjorn. Today must have been a good day for being out for everyone. I spent a spectacular afternoon watching gigantic breakers - and the surfers who can stay upright and catch the wave!

tonispencer said...

Great prompt. So many places I find peace but I shared one from last night - the Leonid Meteor shower!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thanks so much, Toni. I know one place I always picture you at peace is playing violin in your big tree. Looking forward to reading your response.

Margaret said...

Not so much a place but how I now handle with emotion and tears - I hope this works for the prompt. Instead of thinking of tears as grief, I like to think they are an acknowledgement of feelings - of hope, of love.

I will be off for a few days to attend my Father-in-Laws funeral. May or many not be checking in over the next few days but will catch up when I return.

Love you guys.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wendell Berry's words gave me goosebumps...Really so beautiful to read and so relevant as we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century. Can you believe it?

A special word to Margaret, in your bereavement. I am very sorry for your loss, but so glad that your family could spend time with your father-in-law before his passing. A life well lived is a gift to others.

Kim M. Russell said...

A lovely prompt, Sherry, which has dragged me from the depths of a head cold and chesty cough. I need to shake it off before I travel down to my daughter's on Wednesday for a spot of grandmothering, which I am so looking forward to. The night sky is exceptional at the moment, here in North Norfolk.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Margaret, our thoughts will be with you and your family. I echo Kerry. What a blessing that your father-in-law was surrounded by family, and by love, as he made his transition.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Kerry, it is a remarkable poem, isn't it? I love finding poems that say so well all I am feeling.

Kim, I do hope you recover before your trip. Rest well! The night skies are such a mystery and wonder!

Jim said...

I wouldn't like a "darkened world," either literally or figuratively. Being refreshed helps with keeping hope. Take a break, count some stars or sweep back gobs of waves. Clears the mind too.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Good advice, Jim. Thank you, friends, for taking part. I so enjoyed reading all of your wonderful poems.

Ella said...

Sherry, you always know how to tug my green heart!! I will have to visit these offerings~

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

Joining in today- a bit late...Hello All!

Susie Clevenger said...

Thanks Sherry for the prompt. My comfort comes from a place I never thought I'd find it, a cemetery. I had been mulling around when and where to share my experience just last month.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ella, so good to see you! Susie, I love your poem so much. It is incredibly moving.Linda, thanks for joining in. Smiles.