Tuesday, September 16, 2014

E Pluribus Unum

E Pluribus Unum
Peter T. Atkinson 

The Greeks would say that conflict is all there is,
And I can see that as the wind cools my cheek,
While the sun heats it. Which will triumph?
On Fall days like today it seems the wind is winning,
And will prevail, but would I have said the same
Last week, when the sun and water teamed together,
Creating the hot, hazy, victory of the humid hundred?
And though today, the cool wind’s armies are marching,
At some point, they will overreach, and like all victors
And tyrants be beaten back. So maybe it is all a cycle,
An infinite order that a Hindu may suggest, on and on,
In both directions, forever without change, merely forms
Change, the difference of just a moment, that juxtaposed
With the infinite, all distinction fades. Or is it connected,
In Yin and Yang, connected pieces of a larger whole, joined
Forever with the rest of us, not merely dancing together,
Or fighting against one another, but entwined, inseparable,
One? Or do the Cheyenne grasp it better, seeing those
Forces partnered together, working together, with each other,
And the Great Spirit, to create and improve, creation
Heading forward, evolving through caring, concerned
Hands? Or is just the opposite true? Conflict again, like the Greeks
But instead of battling forces, tangled, diverse, alliances
of moment, there are just two, good and evil, diametrically
Opposed, life and destruction, that the conflict is simple,
Yet in its simplicity much more sinister and fatal,
For this struggle seen in everything, decides also the fate
Of everything: life or destruction? A battle unfinished today.
I see them all when I look outside, or I can close my mind,
And see none of them. I see why people have thought,
Do think, and will think each to be so, and I could just say,
“Well it’s just relative, all is. Who is to say? We’re all
Blindly describing what our minds let us see, and no one,
None of us are any more right than the other.” I could say that,
Or I could find an order beyond what each sees, listening to all,
That there is unity within the diversity, that behind it all
There is truth, one truth, and from our differences,
Through our conflict, in our identity and connection,
There is a beautiful order we cannot fully see by ourselves
Until we listen to the other, and in listening begin to love,
Perhaps in that love are all things made true, that in love
There is unity, conflict, partnership, life and destruction,
Birth and rebirth, connection, and all of it, and so do we,

through love, truly only can we come to find one Holy God.