Spirits, Dancing

Painting: Carla Wettstein
Having put yourself on the way,
it is inevitable that you
should reach here.  If in
your thoughts you've had
the notion of reward
as you fought to come this far,
banish them.  And,
as penalty for entering,
shed the attitudes of worldly men
regarding us and this
celestial sphere where now
your spirit begs to enter.

From the extremity
to which you've come, you see
us sway in a dance.
It is no sign that we
are happy.  To be happy
is being a step removed
from happiness.  Which we
never are.  Nor are we sad.
Sorrow is man in the world,
and we, the total expression
and awareness of his state,
are sorrowful.

What seems to you,
who were taught to feel
we must fulfill
where the world has failed,
must turn to good the bad,
must invoke permanence
for material whose law
and will it is to die--
what seems to you, driven here
by urgency, a dance
is nothing but the pain in the world
which we like a mirror contain.

To sway is to depart
as branches from a stem,
as shadows from foliage
thick and dark--
and to depart is what is pain.
What you must know before
you enter this domain
and learn the ways of which
we shall not speak is this
first truth of what you are:
a sorrow, a sorrow
begging for home.  Or you
would not have come this far.

~ Arthur Gregor

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