Change of Scenery

During my recent week off the grid, I walked by this statue hundreds of times. There weren't that many places to go. On a Vipassana retreat, it's a looping sequence of meditating while sitting and meditating while walking – all carried out without talking to the other participants.

The setting can feel like paradise or a prison yard. The scenery doesn't change, of course. Your perspective does. It can shift in an instant. It's impossible to know which world you'll land in from moment to moment. 

An underlying theme of my contemplative practice is to try to drop what's preventing me from feeling at home, regardless of the circumstances. This is much easier said than done – which explains the need for a lifetime of small, imperfect attempts.

But during one of the heavenly moments last week, I observed a brief relationship that lingered in my psyche and resulted in this poem.

Holiness Unbound
by Daron Larson

A martyr immortalized in stone
stands watch over the grounds. 

His robe, sacred objects, and stern gaze
signal his virtues and intentions to liberate. 

A robin perches on the cross
the saint presses forever out
to the farthest extent of his reach. 

The bird, not bound by gravity or symbolism,
takes in the view
and the current news
from the twitter sphere:

The whos. 

The whats. 

The where and whens. 

Birds lack the words to get tangled up in the whys. 

Soon, she leaps into the breeze,
as free as ever. 

The holy man's face belies a heart
eternally willing to break open.