Beyond The Front Gate

Today is a beginning to a five day retreat for Fire & Water. Twenty or so people will arrive. Some from near. Some traveling from far.

The theme for this retreat is to gather medicine (and offer, and create) so as to better be able to stay in life’s challenges and opportunities (ordeals).

Many people ask what the journey is. In fact, growing ability to articulate that is an important part of that journey. I’ve come to think of it as a journey of becoming — the unfolding of ourselves into what is not meant to be oddly constricted or constrained. Most people feel the call to evolve and integrate themselves. This is what Fire & Water intends and often does.

There is poem that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It came from an overnight dream in which I was seeking what was beyond the pruned and proper entrance to what was wild and undomesticated beyond. This poem speaks to me of why people enter Fire & Water, in search of such encounter and becoming.

Wildness Beyond the Front Gate
Tenneson Woolf

The entrance gate to this particular land
is pruned, preened, and proper. 
Everything about it shows exactness.
It’s lines are straight.
It’s greenery is groomed.

But it isn’t the entrance gate that interests me.
I want to know the wildness beyond the front gate.
I want to be among the untamed, the rugged, 
the jagged edges, and the dangerous slopes.

It is because of what lies beyond the gate
that I, and I believe many of us, seek admission.

I suggest, it matters, that any of us find our way
to what is unplanned in our lives, beyond the front gate.

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