They say the layered earth rose up
Ancient rock leviathan
Trailing ages in its wake
Lifting earth mass toward the sun
And coursing water cut the rock away
To leave these many-storied walls
Exposé of ages gone
Around this breathless emptiness
More wondrous far than earth has ever known.
My life has risen layered too
Each day, each year in turn has left
Its fossil life and sediments
Evidence of lived and unlived hours
The tedium, the anguish, yes the joy
That some heart-deep vitality
Keeps pressing upward toward the day I die.
And Spirit cuts like water through it all
Carving out this emptiness
So inner eye can see
The soaring height of canyon walls within
Walls whose very color, texture, form
Redeem in beauty all my life has been
The darkness and the light, the false, the true
While deep below the living waters run
Cutting deeper through my parts
To resurrect my grave bound heart.
Making, always making, all things new.
—Parker J. Palmer, in The Weavings Reader