Poetry by Ron Price

Self-Forgetfulness and Self-Realization

with thanks to Jane Hirshfield

Discuss this poem

I sometimes wonder, as I go about documenting my life for a future time,
if anyone will ever read these words, if they will ever serve a purpose.
Some curious faith inspires me; it is not certitude; it is a combination
of hope, belief, the pleasure of writing, the desire to make all moments
part of some central intention, some desire not to have any time off, to
make it all count. The American poet Jane Hirshfield says that this
should be the approach to Zen monastic life. I like to think this should
be the approach to the Baha’i life, at least that there is some wisdom
here for this Bahá’í.

Jane goes on to say in an interview at AGNI at online internet site,
that we must immerse ourselves in the life of this world, be inhabited
by it and speak for others as well as those beyond, as far as we are
able. We must also go deeply into the self and into silence.

—Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 12 November 2007.

Yes, Jane, there is intimacy here
and a meaning in all things like
some great scroll with hidden
secrets for us to discover each
in our own way—and you and
I with this craft of writing to craft
a self, ourself, a life that is our own,
our uniqueness in a world of exile,
imprisonment and immense revelation
where the wind, everywhere the wind,
as you say, carries us home, a place
we learn to make wherever we are.

Our poems are always personal—for
sure Jane, for sure, and what we write
generates attention, expands our life
and, perhaps—hopefully—that of others.

And prayer, absolutely unmixed attention,
yes Jane, yes, perhaps the secrets of our
prayerful melodies may kindle our own
souls and attract the hearts of all men
as we recite in the privacy of our chamber.
Will scattering angels scatter our words?
Sooner or later will our own souls be
influenced by these prayerful notes?
I like to think so, Jane, but I don’t like
to take sides and say for sure, Jane, no!

We sure are fully complex beings as
we search with Thoreau to simplify
and forget our own selves which is
the essence of self-realization, Jane.