So, here is the story on these two poems. I have been very lucky to read Ana Lisa de Jong’s upcoming book “Heart Psalms” so that I can write a “blurb” or endorsement for it. Wow! It is hard to marshal my thoughts around that. This first poem is the opening dedication to the reader.
Then this morning I went to the monthly meeting for the Spiritual Care Board at the Strafford County House of Correction and Don Brautigam, our chair, read the following reflection from Rumi, Persian Poet of the 13th century.
The two poems spoke to each other!
I thanked God for you
and He said,
‘They are simply Me,
come to you through a thousand
I love you through your friends,
and that person on the street
and the brush of next door’s cat
against your skin
You cannot measure all the
ways I love you.
And keep measuring.
As the sun will rise tomorrow
I come again, and again,
Ana Lisa de Jong
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness –
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice –
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.