Be with us - a tree poem
Submission, deconstructing, rejection and belonging
You don't need to do everything. Do what calls your heart; effective action comes from love. It is unstoppable, and it is enough.
Joanna Macy - Work that reconnects founder
Words are like soul food, they anchor under your skin and lighten your way to the heart, at home.
This was another morning outdoor work last year.
I could not dance or sing as usual. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Zero creative flow.
I was out of myself, stuck in my bodyvoice and my outer expression.
So I asked (myself, God, the angels) : How could I unclench all this blocking stuff ?
I heard this distinct voice around me: « Be with us ».
The trees spoke to me. Simply asking me to be present. Present to my feelings. Present to their presence. Feeling it all. Good or bad, beautiful or awkward. But be.
I felt held into that space as soon as I innerly answered: « Yes! »
Nothing compares to the sense of belonging, being known, heard, embraced.
I could release and finally create again.
A few months ago, I submitted a poem around this experience for the Work that reconnects magazine.
The submissions had to address patriarchy, gender acceptance, deconstructing old times. So the trees voice was the perfect one to embody these topics.
My poem was not selected.
I tasted a bit of rejection. Because I was an outsider. Actually my whole life has been a game of being outside, coming from nowhere (« Who’s that girl? »).
So I was not a part of that community, not an english writer, not a facilitator. I did not belong.
That was not comfortable.
I could grab to my old belief that no one would ever recognize me, that the circles are always closed.
By chance, zen teaches me to face the truth: I am not my emotions, I am not separate. Tenderness is always close when you acknowledge you just need a little loving, not blaming you or others.
Rejection fade away quite easily as soon as I remembered the empowerment that writing this poem gave to me, and as soon as I felt again blessed by the sweetness of what the trees told me that day.
And I feel grateful that some unknown american readers, editors, activists, facilitators, took the time to read my words among many other writings.
Being read is a grace.
Being chosen is something you can do on your own at each moment.
I choose myself.
Do you choose yourself too?
My poem is for my sensitive readers. Thanks to you.
BE WITH US
I stood among them.
Sometimes you don’t know
what to do with yourself
when belonging rings with suffering.
So I asked: « What should I do
to feel at ease, to let go of my fears? »
I heard the trees answering me:
BE WITH US
Sweet embrace, true caress.
One of them: no problem.
Recognition from feet to crown
from roots to head.
I step into the circle
My fear : being in the middle
seen and mistaken
alone with my Oneness
a stranger with the wrong gender.
I heard them say:
« May we not expect the snowdrop
to bloom in summer,
may we not wait for the cormorant
to keep its wings fold to dry »
My breath expanded like branches
into the clouds.
« May we never ask for anything
from a being, anything else than
to be with us as living being. »
I was among human trees.
I was one of them.
If there is a « we » among the trees
there should be one among us too.
Belonging rings with breathing together
reaching the sky
our true nature
through our roots and our choices.
It might be worth a try.
Marion Dorval is a hybrid artist. Facilitator of self-revelation through voice and words, she works to reconnect people with their true source of joy and creativity at memovoix.com. Author of a french collection of poems (En traces), she regularly publishes in magazines and on substack around the themes of disability, identity and interconnection. She shares reflexions about how art and daily life interact in the podcast Life creative process and write poems and letters on Substack. She likes to combine natural elements, threads and fabrics, movement and voice to bring aliveness to her art. Her aim is to reveal the unity that connects diversity among all alive beings.