I am You, You are Me

The brilliant German poet Rainer Maria Rilke once raised the question “How is it that I can meet someone who grew up in a completely different culture and home environment, maybe even with another language, and yet we can talk to one another, and over time we can even come to understand each other deeply.” His poetic answer was to suggest that actually we all inhabit the same house, a vast house with many rooms. Over the years we have come to know some of those rooms, the rooms of our childhood, or our family, of our studies, but many we have never visited. When we meet someone new they invite us into their rooms, which we also have, and through their experience illuminate our own being. This means that there is no one we can ever meet who does not help us deepen our understanding of ourselves. So I think it is with the powerful poem written by Black Elk, sent to me by Faye and Jim Mihuta. What Black Elk’s spirit sees is what I saw in the harmony around me on the sunny day that I have written about on this page. How could Black Elk and Jeremy Sykes have seen the same thing, across all our cultural differences, unless what we saw exists?

Sacred Hoop

Then I was standing

on the highest mountain

of them all,

and round beneath me

was the hoop of the world.

And while I stood there

I saw more than I can tell

and I understood more than I saw.

For I was seeing

in the sacred manner

the shape of all things

of the spirit

and the shapes

as they must live

together like one being.

and I saw the sacred hoop

of my people

was one of many hoops

that made one circle,

wide as daylight and starlight,

and in the center grew one

mighty flowering tree

to shelter all the childen

of one mother

and one father.

And I saw that it was holy.