The one question the world asks of you

The one question the world asks of you

Fresh Black Bear print in sand

Who are you?
The world asked of me
when I was yet too young
to have found my voice
could not escape lips opened
and sound, like breath
was not yet safe or mine to claim

Answering this question
poised by parents first
echoed by God and the world
became my great quest
one in which I discovered
time and again I am not
not who I thought I was
not who they say I am
not who they claim me to be.

Rather I am no small thing
confined to an identity
defined reduced or imprisoned
by the social constructs
of job or economic status
race gender politics or religion
all names but footprints of imagination
roles of mere human construction
un-referenced by the natural world of tangibility and awe
soil and rock, wind and water, sun and moon

I am rather more like that wind
over still water at times
or like the fresh hind footprint of a black bear in the sand
or like mystery whom we cannot see
coming or going but known
only by the effects of its movements
like something beyond naming
embodied in flesh for but a dance

I am surly a lover of this world, too
a lover of people and critters
and of this fully human self
on a grand adventure of re-membering

and so my answer to the original question
I am—that I am
and home at last
in the world as it is

Note: Photo credit goes to my dear friend Tom Rourke; taken on a recent learning journey adventure into Canyon de Chelly. These annual trips are co-hosted with my non-profit partner, Cheryl Slover-Linett of Lead Feather.

I am reminded here of the Carl Sagan quote: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

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