Check What You Believe

"View from the Nest" by Mark R. Turner
“View from the Nest” by Mark R. Turner (with help from Jon Sailer and the Hubble Space Telescope)

Puzzling over the massive delusions rampant in our populace, I have written many pages of analysis counseling the reader to Check What You Believe, but, too many words; words too limited. I am choosing the wisdom of sparse, poetic lines to aid contemplation. Though I do not usually “explain” my poems, I offer a few comments to help with this one after you read it.

Breath awakened
The squeak in the nest
Unknown to an oblivious world
But not to the one who sat
Waiting patiently.

And when the shell
Gave way to growth
In time the insignificant rose
To sound out and turn
Those with deeper ears
To marvel at the flying song;

So, too, those who push out and breathe,
Move and sound out
Over and over,
Make the marks,
Dance and turn the heads
To consider what is,
What is more,
What is beyond,
What, who we are.

I am one
Of you the on-going vine
Emerging from sleep,
Finding my voice,
Turning to your response,
Making a new vibration with others,
Knowing the context embracing us
As we pass complex temporalities,
Invent passing beauties
We try to keep
As they fade and crumble
To the passing shore,
Leaving in us the impressions
Of an enriched texture
With each passing creation.

Fearfully we accompany
One another forward unknowing.
One or the other grasps
At some old fragment,
Trying to stay forever
At a comfortable spot,
Afraid to lose
What we had gained,
Fierce to force an old way
Upon this evolving stream,
To horde a known
Rather than acknowledge
The expanse of our glory.
We convince the rest
Of an illusion more secure
Than reality dawning
So beyond imagination
It is not limited to words and squeaks
In this nest crying
For another morsel
From our attentive mother.

This is about us flowing through time and ever-changing circumstance. We are created with the essential capacities to communicate and interact as a complex context. The poem notes our angst to try and stop the flow, or control it by some temporal invention, to attempt to replace reality with illusions, or at least force everyone to deny the unimaginably glorious destiny toward which we move.

That destiny we find too frightening, too uncontrollable, a state of being that possesses us and will not become our own commodity. This is the metaphor of the helpless, frail creature being born to the mercies of a parent in an unknown reality. It is us in a constant state of being born, dependent on One we cannot comprehend, but can count on for comfort, provision and protection, One who we can Love and sense their Love. We are frightened and reassured, full of doubt and yet affirmed, moving on and on, growing, ever growing.

Best not to resist the goodness, but to cooperate and participate with these capacities gifted to us. Cast off the delusions and rebuff those who appeal to our preferences acquired from TV and movie fantasies. Stop living escapist storylines that claim we can reverse the fabric of reality if we just concentrate en masse. Someone has been playing Harold Hill from The Music Man appealing to “the think system,” or Peter Pan claiming you can fly based purely on thoughts of your preferences. (Hey, I tried it right after the Mary Martin broadcast of Peter Pan, Dec. 8, 1960, and claimed afterwards that I did actually fly (for a split second). My brothers, kindly made ambiguous responses.)

Take courage and faith that real Goodness is both beyond you and for you, in you and in the rest of us too.

2 Responses

  1. Carlton

    The image is a most evocative metaphor of our planet earth as a nest in the cosmos. Will this fagile earth our island home survive? Probably so, but maybe not the eggs or us.

    • markart

      We need to be and do what we are made for to participate in answering the survival question, don’t we?