I’m still here in Sydney, and it keeps on delivering miracles. They don’t seem at all commonplace to this pilgrim, though. The way the light hits that water. The way frangipanis scent my inhalations, the way blues shimmer and slither, the way the harbour has snuck into my veins as I slide into it in the mornings. The way people have snuck into my heart…
It has been a busy week. Two writing workshops where people were lions of courage, to coin Mary Oliver’s phrase. They wrote and wrote, they skipped, they ached. Then a wide-ranging conversation with Tony Doherty at the church here in Rose Bay. Hard to read some passages from the book within those walls, but so good to step up to the task and to air painful stories. To let some light in and to release them, in the company of mindful seekers…
And now I’m plotting a poetry camino along my harbour walk for next week. I’m selecting poems and plotting walking treats. It will be an hour of celebration and gratitude to that sweep of salt I have come to know and love. It is beloved brine, and I want to honour it.
It has been an age since I put up a poem here – delinquent behaviour! And so I thought I’d share one of the possibilities for that walk with you. Hope you find miracles all around, wherever you are on your road.
by Wislawa Szymborska
Commonplace miracle: that so many commonplace miracles happen. An ordinary miracle: in the dead of night the barking of invisible dogs. One miracle out of many: a small, airy cloud yet it can block a large and heavy moon. Several miracles in one: an alder tree reflected in the water, and that it's backwards left to right and that it grows there, crown down and never reaches the bottom, even though the water is shallow. An everyday miracle: winds weak to moderate turning gusty in storms. First among equal miracles: cows are cows. Second to none: just this orchard from just that seed. A miracle without a cape and top hat: scattering white doves. A miracle, for what else could you call it: today the sun rose at three-fourteen and will set at eight-o-one. A miracle, less surprising than it should be: even though the hand has fewer than six fingers, it still has more than four. A miracle, just take a look around: the world is everywhere. An additional miracle, as everything is additional: the unthinkable is thinkable.
If you fancy some walking words, or some workshops or debates or quizzes or conversations or story-telling, or poems and more poems, please have a look over at the page marked EVENTS AND MEDIA in the tab up above. I’m busy in the coming weeks – in WA at writers festivals, and after that, back in Melbourne. The road keeps opening.
Thank you to all the people I met this week at the workshops and the talk. It is such a gift to be given time and talk, and to meet people who want to open things up with questions rather than close them down in certainty. I am profoundly grateful.
Gracias a la vida.