Joanna Macy is my hero. For real, not just an expression. She is truly the woman I most admire, and she embodies the courage, determination, heart, wisdom, compassion, and love for this Earth, humanity and this uncertain moment on our planet, that I try daily to embody in my own little way.
Some days are better than others.
Today, after walking outside and being bombarded by trains, cars, horns, exhaust and blowing trash leftover from this morning’s pickup … after feeling confronted by the ugliness of factories, bare trees, dirty streets and the sad stumps of trees who used to reign supreme on our property before it called to us last Fall … Today, I really needed to hear this Joanna Macy speech. It’s one of the most poignant and inspirational talks I’ve ever heard:
Here’s the Rainer Maria Rilke poem she quotes at the beginning of Part 3:
Quiet friend who has come so far
Part Two, Sonnet XXIX
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Swaying back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable darkness,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.