In times like these, when CNN and Fox News clamour for my focus and attention I have found the best thing I can do is to read some poetry. It slows me down and helps me recalibrate and ground my life on something more than an explosive image and a sound bite. I don’t know if you know of the poet Mary Oliver, but you should. This week I finished a collection of her poems called Devotions. She has so many poems that help me to re-look at life from a new perspective. I’d like to share one with you called “Of The Empire”. It’s fitting when you look at the politics in the world around us. The question isn’t so much who will we elect as it is who are we becoming.

We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers. All
the world, in our eyes, they will say, was a
commodity. And they will say that this structure
was held together politically, which it was, and
they will say also that our politics was no more
than an apparatus to accommodate the feelings of
the heart, and that the heart, in those days,
was small, and hard, and full of meanness.
— Mary Oliver (Of the Empire)
Jeff KuhnComment