Homecomings

Homecomings
by Pablo Neruda

Two homecomings sustained my life
and the daily sea, ebbing and rising:
at once I faced the light, the earth,
a certain provisional peace. The moon
was an onion, nourishing
globe of the night, the orange sun
submerged in the sea:
an arrival that
I endured and kept buried until now,
it was my will and here I shall remain:
now my homecoming is the truth. –

I felt it as a blow,
like a crystal nut
shattering on a boulder
and in that way, in a thunderclap, the
light flashed,
the light of the littoral, of the lost sea,
of the sea captured now and forever. –

I am a man of so many homecomings
that form a cluster of betrayals,
and again, I leave on a frightening
voyage
in which I travel and never arrive
anywhere:
my single journey is a homecoming. –

And this time among seductions
I was afraid to touch the sand, the
sparkle
of this wounded and scattered sea,
but accepting of my unjust acts
my decision fell with the sound
of a glass fruit that shatters
and in this resounding blow
I glimpsed life,
the earth wrapped in shadows and sparks
and the cup of the sea below my lips. –

Personal Reflections
In Mahayan Buddhism, Bodhicitta is sometimes referred to as “intelligent heart” in that both wisdom and compassion are equally necessary for spiritual growth to occur. That sounds really enlightened. And it is an aspiration. But what if we don’t feel Buddha like at all? Our poet here has a way of keeping it real- this experience of being human is complex. And it isn’t all warm gratitude and sunny bliss. Am I brave enough to meet the feelings that come from being cracked open? Here is where light meets shadow. As daylight falls, can I trust that the night sky will hold me? Can I be with the fire burning deep within my belly and an intensity of longing and unmet desire. Is there a choice? What would it mean to lean in deeper? What do I need to know here? “Now my homecoming is the truth”. Perhaps I am a “woman of so many homecomings”. We are made of stars. This is true. I may “never arrive anywhere” and that’s quite ok.

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