Throw Yourself like Seed

Follow Your Calling
When I was the Forest

More Fields

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit;

sluggish you will not see the wheel of fate

that brushes your heel as it turns going by,

the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is

abundant.

Now you are only giving food to that final pain

which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,

but to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts

is the work; start then, turn to the work.

Throw yourself like seed as you walk and into your own

field,

don’t turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,

and do not let the past weigh down our motion.

Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s dead in yourself,

for life does not move in the same way  as a group of clouds,

from your work you will be able one day to gather yourself.

–Miguel De Unamuno

(The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology edited by Robert Bly [translator], James Hillman, and Michael  Meade, p.234)

If you’re not depressed, you can “recover your spirit” by “shak[ing] off this sadness.” Unamuno writes about a lethargy that needs to be opposed with willpower and devotion to life in order for you to embrace your destiny. Don’t feed death. Follow your vocation . . . your calling from God. If your spiritual work is writing, then let your writing be clothed with love. “By throwing yourself into a task, you take part in the world, give it your gifts and bring it your love” (ibid. p.229). “. . . But to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts is the work; start then, turn to the work.” Leave a legacy. Write.

“Throw yourself like seed as you walk and into your own field.”  Wildly abandon yourself to your creative process (your work) and let the seed nourish other lives. I’m reminded of the secondary chorus from a U2 song “With or Without You”:

And you give yourself away

And you give yourself away

And you give

And you give

And you give yourself away

When I read the line “Throw yourself like seed as you walk” an image of the tenth Zen Ox-Herding picture comes into my mind. I envision a sage walking into a village with bliss-bestowing hands, flowers spontaneously blooming on both sides of the path behind him. Unamuno was such a man.

Photo Credit: Photo by Dan Lingard at Flickr Creative Commons.

Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday.

Follow Your Calling
When I was the Forest

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