There is a poem that speaks deeply to me…

It's titled "Clearing" and it's by Martha Postlewaite. I heard just a piece of this poem quoted some time ago, while I was hurriedly driving to work and listening to an audiobook or a podcast...I don't now remember the book or podcast. But what I do remember is being so struck by the words that I needed to pull over and scribble down the poem fragment so that I could later excavate the poem in its wholeness and sit, open hearted, with the treasure of it.

The portion of the poem that rang my bell that morning was "create a clearing in the dense forest of your life." My heart cried out in response, "yes, please...for the love of all that is holy, yes!" My life had become dense, as lives tend to do, with obligations and strivings, activities and things. That morning, even the possibility of creating a clearing was a balm. It felt as if the author had seen me in the dim light of my thick forest, as the kudzu wrapped around my ankles, and had handed me a hatchet.

It seems to me that life has a way of encroaching, with both the mundane and beautiful, and that the need for weeding and clearing is always at hand. Dense forests and cleared meadows are lovely places. May we create space in our lives to inhabit both. And may we have the courage to pull out the hatchet and cut away the kudzu before it obscures that beautiful moonlight and turns our deep breaths to panting.

Here is Martha Postlewaite's poem in it's entirety

Clearing

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue. ~Martha Postlewaite

Today, may you breathe more deeply, smile more often and feel more at home in your own beautiful life....

22 thoughts on “There is a poem that speaks deeply to me…”

  1. This is a tremendous, thought provoking piece of writing. In a culture that values “busy-ness” it is a refreshing glimpse of a better way to follow the journey that is life. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Absolutely beautiful!! Both the poem and your interpretation of it. Very thought provoking, inspiring and soothing….all at the same. This paints a very vivid picture of our entanglements and busy-work that engulf us so often.

    As a child of the South, I know too well how Kudsu can take a once beautiful, useful piece of land and turn it in a viny, useless, dangerous-looking piece of property. It smoothers everything it attaches to. We can so often allow worry, stress, drama and duty do that to us…..at least I know I’m guilty!!

    Thank you for sharing this and may your endeavor flourish….free of Kudsu or other entanglements.

    1. Thank you reading the blog and for your thoughtful comments and your warm wish, Terry…may it be so for all of us at least some of the time. And when there are entanglements may we be quicker at remembering to clear!

  3. So beautiful, Teresa! I love your way with words, and your timely advice to recognize our need for breathing space.

    Congratulations on you Blog! I’m so proud of you ☺

    1. Thank you, Cathy! You’re the first blogger I’ve known personally and your blog is a gift for us and generations to come!

  4. Teresa, you are such a wonderful person. When I had a hard time you always bring me calm and peace. Now I am a big fan of your blog !

  5. Thank you Teresa for your thoughts on clearing a path. I’m on my own journey of clearing and breathing. And could relate. Reading a book called present over perfect and so inspired to pick up my hatchet.

    1. Susan, thank you! I’m putting “Present over Perfect” on my reading list now. BTW, In our times together, I was always moved by how fully present you were. Thank you so much for that too.

  6. Teresa,
    Such perfect timing! I also am on a journey to clear away the things in life that only distract me from the things on my heart! Beautiful poem! Thank you for sharing it. I love you and am thankful to have you in my life.

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