Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Today, I stumbled upon the poem, "The Waking", while writing a music review. The artist, Kate Magdalena, wrote a beautiful song to the poem, Listening to Kate's angelic voice sing the words against acoustic guitar picking and gliding flute, I instantly fell in love with the poem.
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.
In this poem, it appears that all things are are dependent upon the recognition of their antithesis which makes the poem circular. And, the awakened state seems to be a form of enlightenment where we experience life fully in the present. One of the most interesting lines is "I learn by going where I have to go." Sometimes, the greatest lessons are not learned by following our own desires, but by going where we have to go, spiritually.