Poetry

59. INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC

music

I’ve decided to put a link directly on my page to this. It’s a separate category that appears at the top of my blog of musical pieces that lift my spirits. Most are links to something on YouTube, so if they don’t work, let me know.

INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC 

13. A GIFT TO A FRIEND

old potter

This post contains a poem I wrote as a gift to a friend years ago. He’s gone now, but his influence lives on. His physical presence is nothing more than a memory. I don’t even have a photo of him, yet his image is as vivid to me as the first time I ever met the man. It’s almost as if I can see him in my reflection now, not as a copy or imitation, but as a continuation of the best he had to offer.

How does one repay someone for saving their life? Is there any price that can be offered to balance the scales and compensate for this act of selflessness? Yes, there is. The gifts we receive that allow us a better life must be shared; they must be, or they will not fulfill the intention of the universe, and that is perpetuation with abundance.

You may be wondering how this blog entry applies to the subject of self-help. There was a time where I wasn’t sure my existence had any significance at all. This has changed. I now know  we all have a place, a destiny, that fits in perfectly and harmoniously with the world around us. Unfortunately,  the opposite is also just as true. All of us also have a path we can choose that is destructive and painful to those we care for as well as ourselves. The more we nurture our environment, the more we draw sustenance from it. The more we abuse our surroundings, the more it will, in turn, injure us. There is a way to manifest that place that gives life meaning, and it’s not difficult to find.  For the moment, the observation that it functions in others is priority. The more we observe something at work that does not exist in our lives, the more we create faith that it is indeed possible in our own.

Look to those you know or have known in your life that live with purpose. They move effortlessly and gracefully through their days, doing what they do well, sharing their talents without demanding and accepting everything with an abundance of gratitude. Is there not admiration for these people? Is there not a healthy dose of envy that beckons us to reproduce these conditions for ourselves?

This poem is not directly about the man in question I mentioned at the beginning. The imagery is more representative of how I felt he had found his place and in turn mine as well.

THE POTTER

When a lazy sun

Draws its colors

From the evening clouds,

And shadows lengthen

To embrace the night

In silent murky shrouds,

And as the world                                   

Goes to sleep                                             

Under starlit skies,                                   

There comes to life                                 

An old man                                                 

With kindness in his eyes.                     

He slowly rises                                         

And lights a lamp                                     

To start his work again.

A crust of bread,                                       

A bit of drink,                                           

And then he does begin. 

         Just as he who picks

         And presses grapes 

         Off the family vines.

         From the juice that flows

         Will then be made

         Into family wines.                         

         Just as he who cuts                          

         From the weavers cloth               

         Patterns which he sews.               

         And skilled hands

         Will turn his craft

         Into wearers’ clothes.

         Just as he who shapes

         Red-hot iron

         With a mighty hammer.

         As the strokes do fall

         Upon the anvil

         There’s peace among the clamor.

         Just as he who sits

         At the wheel

         Molding clay and water.

         As the stone does whirl

         Another vessel rises

         From the old town potter.

With a tranquil look

And gentle touch

He moves in loving grace.

Shaping his gifts to share with others,

He has found his place.

No longer burdened

By the woes of man,

He works without a sound.

For in himself there lies a calm,

A treasure that’s been found.

And when he is done

Sitting slowly back

To see what’s been turned,

He will always find

That for his efforts

There’s more than what’s been earned.

When the morning sun

Marks another day

And birds begin to sing

The old town potter

Will close his eyes

And dream of what the night will bring.

Thank you for letting me share this with you, and may you too find the bliss that is more valuable than all our “material” world has to offer.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood