Parking lots stuffed with cars waiting to enter, park, and exit, billow exhaust and remind me of creatures struggling to breath in our frigid holiday air. People walk to and fro laden with grocery bags, overflowing carts, and distracted children. Their faces display mixed emotions. I see, or at least interpret, happiness, frustration, grumpiness, and calm. Many people are on their cell phones completely ambivalent to the Christmas music, lights, and scents meant to entice spending. We are a culture of do-ers more than of be-ers.
Recently I came across this exquisite poem by Joy Harjo called, Remember. Given our busy cluttered lives, the simplicity of her words gave me pause and I felt centered. I hope you will take from them what you need as well.
Joy Harjo (Creek)
Remember the Sky that you were born under
Know each of the starâ€™s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is,
Remember the sunâ€™s birth at dawn.
That is the strongest point of time.
Remember sundown and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled to give you form and breath,
You are evidence of her life, and her motherâ€™s and hers.
Remember your father, his hands cradling your motherâ€™s flesh,
And maybe her heart, too and maybe not.
He is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are.
Red earth, yellow earth, white earth, brown earth,
Black earth we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their tribes, their families.
Their histories too. Talk to them, listen to them.
They are alive poems.
Remember the wind, Remember her voice.
She knows the origin of the universe.
Remember that you are all people and that all people are you.
Remember that you are the universe and that the universe is you.
Remember that all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance that language is, that life is.
Remember to remember.