At the end of every busy season, my tired eyes long for new horizons and unexplored trails to refill my cup of inspiration. A trip to Arizona for my favorite conference gave me the opportunity: on my last morning there, after days of sitting back and having my eyes opened anew by fellow artists, I struck out to see what I could see.
And what lay before me? The Tonto National Bridge. This rock formation is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world, and I decided I would hike through its more than 400ft long tunnel with a broken rib. While not the smartest decision I've ever made, it was definitely an inspiring one.
As I huffed and puffed and tried not to slip to my death (since I am not what you would call an avid hiker), I heard the words of my favorite Mary Oliver poem echoing through the cavern of my mind, grounding me, making me feel a part of this world in all the right ways.
are so perfect
I can hardly believe
their lapped light crowding
Nobody could count all of them--
the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch
only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided--
and that one wears an orange blight--
and this one is a glossy cheek
half nibbled away--
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled--
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing--
that the light is everything--that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading.
And I do."
What a Wide Eyed World it is. Happy 2015!