Outward Bound Ideas

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Friday, November 25, 2005

28. Speech Of A Guide - W. S. Merwin

The things that you lost by the way were guiding you. And you tried to replace them. Which do you think you will see again, them or their replacements? Unless you lost the replacements as well, which sometimes happens. And sometimes you had grown to like the replacements better.
But sometimes they were hung around your neck in a bag, and taught you and taught you, and taught you, like your own soul, and you grew as deaf to the one as to the other. Then sometimes what you thought you had lost turned up again. Even in the bag around your neck. And it was still guiding you, still crying Repent from a wild place. But you did not know how to follow it any better than before. You did not attend to the fact that it knew its way in and out of your life better than you did, even knowing where to wait for you, which you would not have known. You did not consider its having a destiny of its own, woven through yours. Eventually disaster again separated you for an unknown period which neither of you might survive without changing lives at least once. And if you lost it and never find it again, as is most likely, it was something that was never yours to give away, it was a foretaste of total disaster, an absolutes nakedness that you could never have conceived of and arrived at without so many guides. But some need only one. Some lead the guides.
So you went on losing and losing, as the rain loses, the mountain loses, the sun loses, as everything under heaven loses. You came along together and here you are.

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