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.

https://danielandrewlockwood.com/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.

                                                                           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 God’s 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