Optimism - A simple and profound poem by Jane Hirshfield

This was my morning dose of poetry.  Again a poem from Jane Hirshfield about acceptance and the happiness in acceptance.  This one a very simple, yet profound one.  Life goes on despite the pulling and pushing against it.  To be sung in the color of hope. 

I am now thinking of the woman at work who, with teary eyes, confided in me yesterday, that she lost her husband last month.  They were both in their late 40s I think.  I had met them both together earlier in June this year, and we had discussed doing some music together because he played the tuba.  I am in two minds whether I should send this to her or not.

Which brings me back to think about the usefulness of poems.  Plato was wrong.  Art can be useful.  As long as life is there, poetry must be there.  Poetry is so life exists. 

Now it's a different day. And I just read a story about a 15 year old girl who stood up against the Taliban for her right to learn. She is being considered for a Nobel prize.
Is she not accepting the will of God by submitting to the Taliban? The answer is no! Education is the birthright of every human. It brings enlightenment. It brings you closer to truth.
That is the difference between the acceptance of a stone and the acceptance of a human being. They are both accepting. But one is an intelligent acceptance and the other is not. Humans are like the tree described in Jane's poem. They are looking for light naturally. This is built in their interiors. And when the light is blocked they must turn to find the light again.
That is the balance between acceptance of fate and following the light through the inner guide.


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs—all this resinous, unretractable earth.
- Jane Hirschfield