A sweet class for my ‘soft animal’…

[Written by Steve Melio; posted by JZ]

Last Sunday’s Rebuilding class focused on Self-Worth and was really delightful. I don’t want to say too much about it, lest I spoil things for future attendees. I’ll just say that there was a certain sweetness to the experience that made me appreciate how far I’ve come in the past 7 weeks of Rebuilding. Not so long ago, I would have struggled (and probably failed) to see anything worthy in the mirror. Back then, grief and anger ruled my days, leaving no room for, well, me.

We heard two poems, both of which were beautiful and very welcome. One was an E. E. Cummings poem that I hadn’t heard in decades (“…nobody, not even the rain, has such tiny hands…”) and the other was Mary Oliver’s The Wild Geese, a poem I had never heard…

“…You don’t have to be good.
You don’t have to walk through the desert on your knees
For a hundred miles, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
Love what it loves…”

I really like that “soft animal” image. Forget slashing claws and bared fangs. It’s time to relax in the burrow, no need to be on guard or be anyone but who you are. Peace and acceptance. I’m ready for some of that.

As I left class to drive home, I had a Chris Smither song playing in my head and lifting me up:

“…I’ve been left for dead before
But I still fight on.
Don’t wait up, leave the light on,
I’ll be home soon…”

Thanks, Chris. It’s good to be back.

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