A poem from my friend Michael Hock:
Row Your Boat
Yes, it is far, then it’s close.
Who one is recedes as one draws near.
As if first one climbs a steep way, then discovers one has wings,
or deaf forever, one awakens to the heartbeat thrum of a butterfly,
and why do you not now fly, or attend the secret whisper?
When the way opens one is close upon the Sea.
How easy to lay down the oars and drift.
How quiet it is, and serene. And yes, that’s okay,
the current here is strong, yet keep yourself in the flow,
steer the deep and potent, hold steady intent,
and skirt the sleepers and sandbars.
As if the scent of the limitless is on the breeze,
just be steady, be calm, but do not allow attention to lapse,
do not surrender to rest, but keep the tools clean
and fit and easy to hand—these body, mind, emotion tools.
This near, do not yet let these slip away.
Home this close, just stay the course, row gently, gently,
down the stream.
Michael Hock lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is a long-time student of the MasterPath, www.masterpath.org. He loves to write about the pure celebration of life that is a result of his efforts to perceive the true and the real in every moment, and how the Divine, embodied in the Sat Guru, opens the faculties of perception and recognition so that life can be lived in joy and dedication.
Image: Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, NM
Lesley, What a sweet blessing this is. Thank you for sharing Michael’s writing. It’s a very soothing and serene reflection and reminder of the ease of keeping our attention in the flow of the divine. I was just doing this very thing, drifting in the river of Sound, luxuriating in the love. Now I carry that into my previously humdrum work.
Thanks, Michael! Long time no see but this poem brings you back to my awareness.
Thank you, Sheila and Al. This is a complex poem. It has taken many readings for it to sink in. Mostly, what I am finding in it is a sense of the ever-awakening of our soul self, and to beware of complacency and settling for what mind thinks is Self, but instead paddling on into the limitless discovery of Soul. Thank you again, Michael.
Thank you for publishing this Lesley. I remain pretty shy about this process, and I deeply appreciate your encouragement. I also appreciate the comments posted here. When Sri Gary sang that nursery rhyme, I ended up writing about it for 100 poems, and this is the 3rd in that series. Here is the opening line of the 100th poem:
One comes around the bend, through the beauty surging,
here this coursing life singing Itself every moment into being,
and the river widens, and it stills,
and the jasmine scent of His ocean caresses one,
and one is come upon now, and here one is,
and surely it is enough.
What a lovely reflection to grace my day! Michael’s gentle reminders to stay the course and not get too complacent while nearing our True Home were perfectly
crafted with beautiful imagery. His words…so soothing and engaging…prompted a lovely contemplation on how different the “Sahaj awareness” he models is to mind’s old tendencies of forced vigilance or early tent-folding before the prize is won.
Thank you for those kind and insightful words Dan. It is really fun to play in His ocean!
This is quite beautiful Michael, thank you, and Lesley for sharing it. I love the analogies to the awakening process, ‘one climbs a steep way, then discovers one has wings’. It’s inspiring to be reminded of the mystical powers that lie within each one of us. Michael I love the gentleness of your words and the serenity in the timbre of your verse. For me I feel I still need to learn how to clean those tools (body, mind, emotion) in order to stay in the flow. It is so heartening for me to hear this beautiful reflection of what may lie ahead as soul unfolds. Thank you.
Thank you Chloe! For me, rowing the boat is the cleansing because we are so deep within the flow, and our idea of only being at the surface is just the allusion to what we can understand, but surely we are cleansed every moment, and if we stay alert to the rapid approaching, or the riffling sandbar, and steer the deep course, we will go swiftly unto our home.
This is such a rich and Soul-stirring poem. Thank you for sharing Michael’s work, Lesley. I sense that I will find something new with each reading. Right now i’m just letting those soothing, flowing images sink into my consciousness. What a blessing!
The poem is so prescient as the journey deepens and yet is quieter. Thank you Michael and Lesley