I came a cross a *line from the poem below on the poets twitter feed a few years ago. I liked it so much I used it as a byline for my Whats app and Skype profiles, as a quote. Recently I endeavored to find out more…
O that Abstract Garden
O that abstract garden of being
Tells me to be brave, and clear,
In the fire of living,
And in the journey through the year.
So I will grow me like an oak tree
And make life’s honey like a bee.
Each day I will walk an interesting mile
And with the sun I’ll share a smile.
I will play again like a child,
And celebrate what’s wild.
I will swim in every sea or river,
And reflect the light of the sublime giver.
I will be at ease with opposition,
And will cultivate intuition.
I will walk the surprising streets,
And dance to life’s unexpected beats.
I will notice all the phases of the moon
And try not to act too late or too soon.
I will write something new every day
And look at paintings in an alternative way.
I’ll not dream the same way twice;
But I’ll not be shy to repeat what’s nice.
I’ll have the courage, when needed, to change;
And I won’t forget that life is strange.
And so I’ll learn to love the simple things
As well as the complexity that life brings.
Good or bad I’ll learn to treat the same
And I’ll not forget that it’s all a mysterious game.
I’ll not let that general fear of death run my life
And I’ll make magic even out of strife.
Into the higher realms I will enter
And make my corner the centre.
O that abstract garden, make me clear,
Make me brave, without fear.
I intend to love this rich new year
By Ben Okri,
(Copyright, Ben Okri, December 2010.)
*The line was “And dance to life’s unexpected beats”. Ben Okri is a writer whose work I’ve enjoyed reading and hope to revisit in the near future.