Seeing Through Seeing

comments 36
Poetry

The wind is blowing softly,
and just earlier today,
three morning doves
were nestled in the grass,
their rounded faces poking up
like a clan of bottle-tops
drifting along together
in a quiet green sea.

We were watching
from behind the window,
and they were watching, too–
each of us studying the way
our own reflection
was illumined by the vision
of the other.

We were all looking,
blinking,
beholding–
when we touched hearts sweetly
in a pane of glass.

Now they are gone,
with us inside them.

If you ask me what I think
will make the most difference,
it would be something like that–
something like what I saw
revealed this morning
in our bedroom window.

36 Comments

  1. Hey Michael,

    You have an exceptional ability to distil precious thoughts and express them all with tenderness and beautiful words. I am enthused by this poem and others you have diligently scribed with care and consideration. Your Blog is well regarded and I can readily understand why. It’s a delightful haven in which to immerse oneself and reflect upon the unseen life. A joy for sure, thank you.

    I was intrigued to read that 3 doves presented themselves to your gaze…a fascinating number of course, both fortuitous and splendid in equal measure…and I was put in mind of a relatively recent experience occurring on my daily travel to work. Naturally, given my penchant for feather collecting, I was thrilled to ‘find’ three dew-clad Dove feathers left where they must have been plucked at the side of my path. I’ve no doubt they originated from the same wing, each virtually an identical copy of the other. I regard them as a treasured find and enjoy pondering their symbolism and significance. I would however be most appreciative to seek your perspective and comment on their meaning and relevance, or perhaps better still, have you unpack this aspect with regard to your eloquent poem?

    Thank you Michael for beautiful words shared from your heart.

    Namaste

    DN – 07/09/2015

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Dewin,

      Thank you for the kind words and for making such a warm introduction here. You have set the table beautifully for some friendly dialogue, for delving into mysteries, and for me to scratch my head and hope I can muster a worthy offering in return.

      Your mention of discarded feathers brought to mind a scene in our backyard tonight that was pretty amazing. We have a hawk nearby, which we’ve known, and my wife maintains a bird-feeding station that may be influencing the global market for black oil seeds and suet. I was writing with my back to, when I heard the feeders jostle and quiver, like they often do when our Acapulco-hearkening squirrels dive bomb from the mid-level springboards of a nearby hemlock. I turned to find a hawk skittering across the feeders, and a morning dove fleeing the scene safely out of the corner of my eye. I’m guessing a feather or two may have been left behind…

      While I do not doubt the significance of such moments as you have described, I don’t know what to make of the dew-clad offering, because it strikes me what is most meaningful about it will emerge from the context of your own life– those feathers being a gift for you. The dew brings to mind Viktor Schauberger’s writings on dew, and how it was like the primordial water– a cosmic being. Which from what I’ve seen of your blog, Dewin, is quite apropos.

      Thank you for such a kind offering again, Dewin.

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful, Michael.
    We are inside of them as they are inside of us. That is food for thought.
    Or not for thought, rather for the revelation.

    We have two pigeons sleeping under our roof. They sat there like an old married couple and stared at me as I stared back.

    Peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Karin! Yes, each is within each, and all within all. Something like that! I love the ease of the pigeons with being near you, and the mutual witnessing you describe. Every such encounter reminds us how little we know I feel, as we find ourselves staring straight into the eyes of the Great Mystery…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michael,
    This piece reminds me of some sacred bird visitations I have had of the mystical variety. When I read your poetry, I often feel like you understand…

    peace, Linda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Linda,

      That is a lovely feeling to share in– the grace of being understood… I think as we become increasingly vulnerable to our own inner lives, we become increasingly aware of the meanings and interpretations that others carry inside of theirs. For we are all studying the same mystery, are we not!?

      Peace to you also,
      In soft colors
      and blurred edges,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. How very beautiful and delicate Michael; you rather touched this old heart with such thoughts. Earlier today I was out on the fenlands that are situated adjacent to my home, and which, due to the watery environs, of course attract birds of all kinds. Coincidentally, I had a couple of ‘moments’ out there myself; they sometimes arrive more frequently in the presence of non-human wildlife I find. No place for egos and thought-obstacles perhaps? Anyway, well done on yet another exquisite piece of work my friend.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Thank you, H. Your recognition that these ‘moments’ sometimes surface more readily in the presence of non-human wildlife is interesting. I would agree. What I observe is that wildlife– as it appears to me– is exceedingly genuine in every circumstance, and holds nothing back. Where we see an animal pacing itself through the year, even the act of pacing itself is a maximal act of pacing. There are no half-hearted endeavors it would seem, and I think this is inspiring to us, who as animals and beings carry the inexplicable sensation that some weight lies between us and such a condition. It is as if we have to lift this weight out of the way to be so simply profound, and we tie ourselves in knots. But the power to be true and unfettered. It nourishes us so deeply…

      Like the monk and the ape that you described so well. I feel the monk was being fully and simply human– deeply present is how I might describe what I experienced in your writing. No questions about the authenticity of it– (the moment)– and so it took on a profound fullness. It had everything it needed… I love when we run into these ‘moments’. When our circumstances can hardly hold us…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Aleya. It seems you’ve created a little slowing down for yourself, which sounds wonderful. May you behold the sacred-magical in many an instant in the days ahead…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Mary. It is beautiful when this knowing gently nudges aside whatever was trying to be there instead. We are all one, including the hawk that dive-bombed a morning dove this evening, and came up dry… Quite a show, I must say. I was wondering why there were new sounds in the trees in the preceding minutes, and I think maybe I was hearing a bird’s alarm signals… Some things make great sense when we replay the tapes, but we just can’t quite grasp it as meaningfully in real time…!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tiramit. I love how you have shifted and expanded this piece, to include you and I, and the words that occupy our two screens… A beautiful sentiment…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Like

  5. The revelation of us in them and them in us. It is ever thus, that all is within us, and therefore we must be also within every other witness. So many worlds to discover, a new one presenting itself each moment. You distill it so well.
    Alison ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love the dots connecting here, Alison. The logic of our heart’s network, of our being within every other witness. I resonate with that and it brings an abiding feeling of calm. So many windows to look through. So many eyes to look out from. So many ways to catch a glimpse of our own nature, and discover deeper understanding…

      Joyfully–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kim,

      You’re right about the joy that arises when we let the opportunity teach us, and the revelation flowers within the space of our attention. The morning doves were so beautiful sitting there. I’d never seen them quite like that before. It’s like when you look up and see your cat dozing in the block of sun pouring through the window. It is so perfect, so serene. It was like that. It leaves you with the feeling of being blessed, really. That the doves would huddle so close… Love is always huddling close…

      Thank you for connecting–
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Michael,

    What an awesome verse!

    What jumped out at me were these lines, and I quote,

    “….each of us studying the way
    our own reflection
    was illumined by the vision
    of the other…..”

    Indeed, when we are able to see deeply into another being, we gain the power to see within our own-selves. Our own inauthenticities, pretenses and that need to show up better than who we truly are. So that was indeed powerful.

    Shakti

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Shakti!

      Yes, I agree with you about the power of mutual seeing– if we might call it that. For me this is deeply related to the empathy Hariod has written about recently, which I believe you saw as well. It is true, I think, that when we truly see another, we discover a presence that carries us as well, and it is not an idle thought to consider that we are truly illumined by the vision of another… Thanks for witnessing this with me…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  7. footloosedon says

    You have such a way with words and imagery Michael. I particularly loved the lines describing the three morning doves:

    nestled in the grass,
    their rounded faces poking up
    like a clan of bottle-tops
    drifting along together
    in a quiet green sea.

    Then your lines towards the end of the poem:

    when we touched hearts sweetly
    in a pane of glass.

    Now they are gone,
    with us inside them.

    If you ask me what I think
    will make the most difference,
    it would be something like that–

    echoed the experience I’ve been having as Alison and I travel through South-Western Turkey these days: the more openhearted and loving I am towards the people I meet the more openhearted and loving they are right back. Now that really feels like something that will make the most difference to me and to those I meet.

    As always,

    Much love,

    Don

    Liked by 3 people

    • Don,

      I’m savoring the feeling of your open-hearted movement through new lands, and how it brings home to us wherever we travel. As if we can literally visit new lands and bring home to them… by giving it away so genuinely…

      Thanks for reading down into the words, too. There’s so much content floating about, it means a lot that people take the time to notice the words, to sense the unique inner flavors they summon… This witnessing, I believe, makes all the difference…

      Much love to you also,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • This comment is so sweet and full, Marga. It feels like we’re sneaking up on a sacred site– finding a fire whose coals are still twinkling beneath the stars. I love when we whisper to one another what we’ve seen, and the whole world deepens…

      Thank you,
      Michael

      Like

  8. The powerhouses hidden in the delicate. Yes, I know this place. You have lucky doves. Perhaps they are high-fiving, delicately, with all those soft feathers and hollow bones, celebrating the humans who communed with them. Very beautiful and nourishing start to the day for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you know this place. I’ve seen it in your writing.

      I love your phrase “powerhouses hidden in the delicate”. Is this not the nature of existence? At least one of the natures? Beauty arrives in so many paradoxes…

      The morning doves have been really enjoyable this year. They have such a melancholy call, such a poignant voice. Yes, it was a beautiful vision. It took me by surprise. It really felt like we each wanted to be just a little closer to the other…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Like

  9. Isn’t it interesting to observe what we find makes that difference. It’s an exciting experience to have and to acknowledge. Good eye my friend. Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed, Harlon. I often marvel at how great a distance we can cover with simple shifts in perspective, and attentiveness to what is arising around us.

      Looking deeply,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful

    Each of us studying the other, yet each a reflection of self.. Such is the way of the world.. As the world reflects back that which we are ..

    Wishing you a Perfect view through a perfect weekend..
    Blessings Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • What kind of mirror is it that reflects us back to ourselves in the shape of morning doves and palm trees…!? ha! A very clever one indeed… Yet once we realize we are playing with such an imaginative reflection, we can learn to see through it to the heart…

      Hope you have a great weekend also, Sue!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

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