“People are hungry, and one good word is bread for a thousand.” – David Whyte
Never underestimate the power of one good word, captured at just the right moment by the ear of the heart. Back in September 1994, for example, as my first marriage began unraveling, my soul plucked a single paragraph out of a 360-page book on contemplative psychology—a paragraph that changed my life, and set me on Lao Tzu’s “journey of a thousand miles.”
“What I know / I could put into a pack / as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it / on one shoulder, / important and honorable, but so small! / While everything else continues, unexplained /and unexplainable.” —Mary Oliver
The wisdom traditions of East and West have much to say about the value of “not knowing.” Buddhism, for example, talks about “Don’t Know” mind, a natural state of awareness that precedes or underlies our often insubstantial opinions, ideas, and so-called knowings, which are, after all, causes of so much suffering. Not knowing, therefore, can be a wise and skillful means of living.
About the Blog
These are the personal reflections of Jay Valusek on the process of Lectio Poetica, on nature, on poetry in general, and on some of words or phrases from poems we have used in our local gatherings.