Thursday, July 23, 2009


by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
I love this poem. I'm much comforted by the idea that when I'm lost, the forest still knows where I am.

I wonder, what is the analogy for feeling lost in life? I know many will leap to offer, "god knows where you are." But I think perhaps if you've been diligent, showing your care, expressing your affection, practicing kindness, maybe love knows where you are, and will lead you back.

They're basically the same idea. In The Gospel According to the Coot, god is love, compassion, the instinct to choose caring over apathy, kindness over cruelty. God isn't outside of us; if s/he exists at all, it's inside our hearts.


Kristin said...

What a beautiful poem and some very thought provoking comments afterward.


Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi, I dropped in because it's international comment leaving week - I loved the poem you've quoted and your thoughts about it afterwards. I know the feeling of 'lost' and have written about it but never so well ...

Liddy said...

I love the poem. Thank you for sharing.

Stopping by for an ICLW visit...
No. 95: The Unfair Struggle (male-factor infertility, good friends, neighborhood rumblings)

Sandy said...

I have recently been reading "Living in the Heart" by Drunvalo Melchizedek where he purports that the heart has its own little brain and can be a guiding force, so I'm inclined to align with your "God is Within" message. Thanks for your instigational, inspirational posts!