Jul 292012

I spent the weekend with an amazing group of people who reminded me of the power of community, and of the resilience and empowerment that comes in merely recognizing that our stories need to be told; that they need to be heard. The poem below is kind of long, but well worth the read.

“Shine,” by Andrea Gibson

I was once told the story of a shaman
Who woke every single morning of his life
Crying for all the world’s sorrow
And yet every day
He would rise and shine bright
He would walk the path
From morning to night
When he would light the night sky
With the stars
That would shine inside his dreams
And for every hell he ever saw
He made himself become the hope
That tugged the rope
That rang the bell
In the steeple
Of the people’s hearts
He would part the seas of greed
With the outstretched hands of his giving
Replacing the hate
With the most amazing grace
This world has ever seen
A week ago
Another war started
And there wasn’t a poem inside me
That wasn’t crying
There wasn’t a poem inside me
That didn’t pound
With the sound
Of a thousand bombs screaming
To where children on the ground
Were dying
And I didn’t want to speak
I didn’t want to sleep
Because I didn’t want to wake
To another morning of mourning so many
When already
Tomb stones had paved
As many prairies
As highways had
And the traffic
Was backed up to my heart
And I didn’t know where to start
Like it was all too much
Like I could never reach to touch
A healing hand
To the wounds the world
Stood so brutally branded with
Like I couldn’t bear the pain
Like I could never
Find the strength
To lift a prayer of faith
Beneath it all
And I felt so small
Felt like we were all so small
Too small
To even knock a dent
Into the door
That holds the hateful hinges
Of this war
And a week ago
I almost wanted to give upBut then
I remembered the story
Of the man
Who lived his life as a light
Through even the darkest nights
His eyes held the song of the dawn
And his sorrow
Was the thing that kept him moving on
Kept him building a better tomorrow
I remember the story
And somewhere
Behind every thing inside me
That had felt so small
Behind every voice inside me
That was doubting
Came a voice behind that
Loud and proud
Like my grandmother’s voice
“What do you mean you’re small?
Of course you’re small
We’re all small
But we are small
Like the moon is small in the sky
And not a wave would ever
Find its way to shore without us
We are all as small
As a single tide
But if that tide
Were to ever stop
The entire ocean
Would freeze in shock
And nothing in it would survive
We are all small
Like the notches
On the line
That will one day wind
The revolution
Through every gutter in this world
Then it’s time
We start believing in our power
Because the darkest hour
Will only come
If we refuse to flower
The light
That has always burned
Bright inside us”So decide
What would you die for?
Then live
Every moment of your life
Like you were born
Into this life just to save it
Knowing the light
At the end of the tunnel
Is the fire of your faith
So never put it out
And every time you start to doubt
Listen to the cries
Of everyone who has come before you
Pushing you on
They know
There has never been a bomb built
That can wilt the petals
Of your power
When you allow yourself to bloom
When you bloom
There will be no room for anything else

Gandhi said
You must be the change
That you wish to see in the world
So you’ve been curled up and sad?
Depression is the first blessing
It means you’ve been in tune
But now the moon is waiting
For you to burn bright
And there has never
Been a time
When your light
Was needed more
Never a time like this before

Yes you are small
We are all as small
As a single breath
But tied to the rest
We are all the life of the world
The pulse that turns rocks to pearls
Inside the darkness
Of their shells
So become the well
Where wishes are born
Become the bell
That rings when even
The birds refuse to sing
Become the wings that fly
And every time you’re full of sorrow
Every time you wake up crying
Know that that day
Is a perfect day
To shine

  2 Responses to “Shine”

  1. Thank You for putting this here. One of those poems that feel like a song to sing and put in the kitchen window. Love You!!!

  2. Wow Jess. Thanks for posting that. Love you

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