2021 Grateful 23: I wake to sleep

I can’t imagine life without books. I love where they send me. The lovable Mike Romeo, from the pen of Toby Neal, introduced me to poet Theodore Roethke, a man whose line “it’s no way to live—to go from exhaustion to exhaustion” rings loud and clear for me.

The Waking

By Theodore Roethke

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

I’m grateful for the discovery, situated as it was on a recent flight from Budapest to Dublin. I had booked my usual aisle seat but my window companion was drumming a water bottle to whatever was going on in his head. I’m not a fan of irritating noise. In a very out-of-character move, I changed seats and took up position at the window in the opposite row.

It was a lovely, clear day. The views of the Danube and Margaret Island were amazing. Even the usually ugly looking panel buildings looked spectacular.

I found myself wondering at life and perspectives and the colour blue.

And when we started in over Ireland, I felt the tears coming. I added another house, with its own landing strip, to my lift of lotto-win possibles.





3 Responses

  1. You’re mellowing, Mary! Verse with rhyme and metre . . . it’ll be sonnets next! And very nice pictures – now you know why I always sit by the window. In fact with Ryanair I always pick seat 32A or F, because there you get two windows – and you’re near the galley . . .

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