For the past several months I haven't been feeling quite like myself. I feel like I've lost myself somewhere along the way. I'm sure everyone gets like this once in a while, but for me its been going on for a while. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy, its just that I can feel that part of me isn't the same; like I'm lacking somewhere, like I'm not grounded...just floating some how. I look back at myself when I was in college and find that whatever I'm missing now, I had then. I was more spiritual, more connected, maybe even more sure of myself. As a result I've been trying to get back there, where ever "there" is. I've been reflecting on it a lot and one person keeps coming back, an old professor of mine who truly changed my life. I recently re-connected with him and instantly felt better; not "there" yet but better. He reminded me of a poem that I used to love. He would read to his students at the end of class, kind of like a purification, and when he read this poem it spoke to me, then and now. Its amazing that after all these years, he and this poem still have a power over me. The poem is called "Where I Was That Day" by Kim Blaeser. I'd like to share it with you...just in case you need some grounding as much as I do =)
Where I Was That Day
It wasn’t just the pill bugs
gray, many-legged and pulling that stunt
like they always did
closing in on themselves
contracting into the tiny round mass
like an image of the origin circle.
And it wasn’t the turtle alone either
who became so neatly one half of the earth’s sphere.
It was partly that day when I stopped at the little creek
and noticed the funny bumps on the floating log
and how they seemed to be looking at me
and how they were really little heads with beady bulging eyes
and how when I came back a half an hour later
the bumps had been rearranged on that log.
It was partly the butterflies that would materialize
out of the flower blossoms
and the deer that appeared and disappeared into the forest
while standing stalk still
whose shape would be invisible one minute
and would stand out clearly the next
like the image in one of the connect-the-dot puzzles.
It was the stick bugs, the chameleon
the snakes that became branches
the opossum who was dead then suddenly alive.
And it was me who fit and saw one minute so clearly
and then stumbled blind the next
that made me think we are all always finding our place
in the great sphere of creation,
that made me know I could learn a way
to pull the world around me too
to color myself with earth and air and water
and so become indistinguishable
to match my breath to the one
to pulse in and out with the mystery
to be both still and wildly alive in the same moment
to be strangely absent from myself
and yet feel large as all creation
to know and to belong
while the spell holds
learning to hold it a little longer each time.
That’s where I was that day
I watched you from the arbor
while you looked all about for me
and then turned back home
thinking to find me in another place
while I was there everywhere you looked.
I knew then the stories about Geronimo were true
and that he did turn to stone
while the cavalries passed him by
mistook him for just a part of the mountain
when he had really become the whole mountain
and all the air they breathed
and even the dust beneath their horse’s hooves.
And I walk about and try to find the place I was that day
but getting there seems harder now
I feel heavier, my spirit weighted down
and I’m thinking I must shed something
like the animals shed their hair or skin
lose even their antlers annually
while I hold on to everything.
And I’m thinking I must change my colors
like the rabbit the ptarmigan, the weasel.
And I’m thinking I must spin a cocoon
grow wings and learn to fly.
And I’m thinking I must hibernate and fast
feed off my own excess for a season
and then perhaps emerge
in the place I was that day
and stay there longer this time.
And I walk about and watch the creatures:
the tree toads becoming and unbecoming a part of the trunk
the rocks in my path that crack open into grasshoppers and fly away
the spider who hangs suspended before me
and then disappears into mist or air
and I feel comforted
knowing we are all
in this puzzle together,
knowing we are all just learning
to hold the spell
a little longer each time.
Just reading it makes me cry and feel better all at the same time. She completely describes how I feel. Now I just have to figure out how to get back there; that's the hard part. It took me a long time to find myself in the first place and now I have to do it again.
He also sent me this picture of myself. I'm praying, in a traditional Native American way, way back when I was in college. That's where I need to get back to. Its funny how he knew exactly what I needed, even though I hadn't spoken to him in over a year. It makes me believe even more that Creator brings people into your life for a reason, whether they stay only a short time or forever really doesn't matter. For me this professor has been around a long time, and he is still teaching me.