We.

Find the truth
at the root
of your florae.

Where is the seed
you planted?
That your ancestors planted?
It has transformed.

And we all grow
toward the same light,
We flower in our ways,
Our colors are our life.

And we all dig
into common soil;
feeding, grounding,
drenched by the same rain cloud.

On the surface we compete
Spread our leaves for a chance
to be seen by light of day.

But our leaves fall
Decomposing to nurture
those who we left behind.

Under the surface
we all intertwine
Your roots and mine
A common foundation

And if one is dug up
we all become torn —
Though we never doubt that
New life will be born.

This poem was inspired by a podcast episode featuring a rabbi who doesn’t exactly follow the tradition of the 39 generations of rabbis before him.

I’ve struggled for several years with how to put into words my divergence from religion. (Hence seeking out the wisdom of people who are asking challenging questions and inviting others to engage with what it means to ask these questions and live differently.) And, after that, with how to describe the spirituality I now embody, it’s continuing evolution, the practice of the path I follow, and why. Mostly, religion felt divisive, which was not a truth my spirit could follow. Our interconnectedness felt true, and that is what I followed.

What is now in my spirit and mind is a puzzle — made up of the many pieces I’ve placed together as life goes on, as I learn, as I grow, as experience and a clearing of the fog from my eyes both enable me to see more clearly, to understand without words, and to explain with wise words. Some pieces I haven’t quite fit into the picture — I hold onto them until their placement is clear. None are forced, none are thrown out. I’m not quite sure what the full picture is yet. I see the major themes that have emerged, and I feel it is a beautiful picture with a purpose, but it just isn’t clear. And that is okay. I’m learning to let that be okay.

One thing I do know: Community is crucial. The We is prominent. And part of my purpose is to use my life path to help us create a more beautiful We, to help Us move forward.

The sense of We is most clear for me when I’m in nature. It vibrates through my body, pings the frequency of my spirit. And I know, without words, I just know. And I see it all around me. And sometimes I need to go be in nature to remember that it is not all about I, that the We is what will propel Us forward, that all is symbiotic, that we are an ecological system and each component is necessary.

With that in mind, I see the purpose religion serves. I acknowledge it. And, I challenge the pieces that don’t allow us to evolve. I’m learning to ask the hard questions that serve to move us forward, and to un-ask the unwise questions that hold us back. I am learning to do this is all areas of life, not just religion and beliefs. I am learning to do this with myself, over and over. And over.

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