The Way It Is
There is a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what things you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
But you don’t ever let go of the thread.
– William Stafford (1914-1993) Poet
“This poem is meaningful to me because of the male lineage of William Stafford, the poet, and Robert Bly, a poet who was a devotee of Stafford. When Stafford died, Bly kept up the lineage. I was not interested in poetry growing up, but over time, as I met Robert Bly and did some workshops with him, he gave me the book of poetry that he had edited. It was The Rag And Bone Shop Of The Heart: Poems For Men. And Robert inscribed it to me, ‘To Jed with love in the mood of brothers.’ I felt it was Robert passing on the male energy lineage to me from his mentor, William Stafford. So, I share it with you all with the same kind of passing on some of that male energy lineage.”
Jed Diamond, Ph.D. is psychotherapist,
a founding member of the American Society of Men’s Health
and author of 12 Rules For Good Men