Take your grief seriously.
Become the ash urn
For the vanishing wilderness.
Despair for the Dolphins.
Make your own salt water
for the disappearing marshes.
The silent Earth is listening.
Be called to outrageous acts of despair
every now and again,
In the face of splendor,
Turn towards it.
I offer this small poem especially to my dear friend Wrensong whose eloquent post in response to a different poem can be read here. Like Hellum, she feels the anguish of what is happening in the world and then, having felt and expressed her grief, she is able to see the beauty in her life that is also there.
Though the essence of this poem is contained in its title, I was caught with joyful surprise by the ending. Like all poems that express grief, be it for a person or the world at large, I have found that there is always contained within, the reminder that life is beautiful. There is splendor hidden in the darkest places and we must turn towards it, not to erase the despair, but to balance it – the duet of wonder and grief as Mark Nepo calls it (see the June 2016 post).
I also recommend the website of my new Ohio friend Kim at WordSPA where she too has chosen this poem to share, along with many others.
Give serious thought to your grief as the poet recommends and every now and again, turn yourself towards the face of splendor. It will be there.