One of the things that Shambhala has brought into my life is poetry. Apparently Buddhists are rather attracted to poetry, or so it would seem from simple observation. Perhaps it is the vividness of experience captured in the words of the poet, or perhaps it is the willingness of the poet to expose their immediate feelings through meter and verse. The origins or spiritual leanings of the poet do not seem to be important - some of the more powerful poems I have been fortunate to encounter are from decidedly Christian poets, who seem to have touched the heart of their connection to their deity. Often the poem offered by a fellow practitioner is timely and appropriate, even if the one offering the poem is not aware of that fact.
Mary Oliver is a favorite amongst the locals, and we've shared a few of her poems during our Wednesday evening study group. Inspired by a poem from her collection Dream Works, I purchased a copy. As is my wont, I fanned through the pages, and let Fate decide which poem I would read.
As well you know, Fate has a sense of irony, if not outright humor. I ended up on The Journey, and was stopped in my tracks. Given the current circumstances, this is poignant to say the least.