In addition to ^ this song, Tennyson’s poem Ulysses was stuck in my head this afternoon. The whole poem is lovely, but it’s the last stanza that rattles around in my bones:
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
This week, I have unexpectedly felt a deep calm and sense of ease. Initially, I attributed this to the change in my physical environment: having fewer possessions, not having an address etc. I thought maybe I was experiencing freedom, but the word didn’t quite resonate. What is it then? Digging a layer deeper, I see the part of me that has found presence. Unexpected as it is, it feels true: I am at ease because I acted upon the call of my heart. I am calm because I am where I am meant to be.
To be present with my own heart is to be free.