MURMURS & OUTCRIES
On the need for gratitude and the necessity of outrage
Most of these poems, written in the last three years, arose from two internal states: a place of gratitude and wonder, or from a place of outrage.
In this time of profound global poverty and strife, it is easy to feel outrage for the inhumanities foisted on ourselves and others by the indignities of age, circumstance, and our own demons, and cry out at the many forms of shadow manifesting in and around us: fear, apathy, violence, arrogance, greed.
In times of humanity’s deepest inhumanity, maintaining the fire of the soul’s outrage is our only hope. Outrage, after all, is the fuel of change and the natural antidote to apathy. How often in human history have the arts been the primary carriers of this necessary energy, providing the soul’s soft envelope for the urgent message.
However, outrage without appreciation for our gifts makes us as dangerous as that which we abhor. The challenge is to resist giving way to fear and its spawn, apathy, which grind away at our capacity for either remedial action or for the appreciation of, and gratitude for, that which nourishes the soul.
My garden, my place of refuge and meditation, provides inspiration and metaphor for expressing the full range of these experiences. The riches in this fortunate place on the planet enfold me in the mundane miracles of daily life, the ordinary marvels and other wonders of the universe.
Now crossing the portal of my eighties, I list among my daily gratitudes the survival of my capacity for awe and appreciation, as well as for appropriate outrage, both of which are expressed in Murmurs and Outcries.