This is what was bequeathed us, by Gregory Orr

This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.

That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

What have we been bequeathed? Certainly there are commons we share. And we each have our own inheritance to be with — to be blessed by / to wrestle with / to become.

I asked the circle of men this morning:

What have you been bequeathed…
…that has brought you blessings?
…that you’re wrestling with?
…that you wish to let go…or to pass along?

Sometimes we have been bequeathed a trauma. Sometimes, however, it is something about the way we view the world that we can’t explain. Who are we? How did we become who we are?

It’s easy to want to make this about decisions we’ve made in our lives. It seems to me, when I sit with the poem above, that perhaps there is more to it than that.

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