Over the past couple of months I have brought the poem below into a few different gatherings. Amidst flux, uncertainty, volatility, and pending collapse, it can be difficult to figure out how to orient, what to hold onto. So leave it to the poets to throw us a life line. Or in this case a thread.
William Stafford is a source of consistent solace and sanity to me, and “The Way It Is” I have found particularly grounding …
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Colleagues and I have used this as an opening check-in with various groups and then invited people to name their thread. Here is some of what has come up:
- People, those that I care for and who care or me.
- The moral arc that bends towards justice.
- Courage to hold on to what is possible.
- The fire of passion.
- Love, love and love.
What is the thread you hold that guides and grounds you in these times?1 Comment