Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Uses of Fear

A donkey turning a millstone is not trying
to press oil from sesame seed. He is fleeing the blow
that was just struck and hoping to avoid the next.

For the same reason, the ox takes a load
of baggage wherever you want him to.
Shopkeepers work for themselves,
not for the flow of communal exchange.

We look to ease our pain, and this keeps civilization
moving along. Fear is the architect here.
Fear keeps us working near the ark.

Some human beings are safe havens.
Be companions with them. Others may seem to be friends,
but they are really consuming your essence
like donkeys lapping sherbet. Detach from them,
and feel your flexibility returning.
The inner moisture that lets you bend
into a basket handle is a quickening inside
that no one is ever afraid of.

Sometimes though, it is fear, a contracting,
that brings you into the presence.