Sunday, September 28, 2014

Amsterdam rhymes



1. I hear from the airline that the middle flight in my three-part journey to Bucharest, starting tomorrow [Sept 29], has been cancelled. That flight was supposed to take me from Atlanta to Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

2. I have not been re-booked so I call an agent. The wait is long.

3. To pass time, I open my Facebook messages and find that a friend has sent me a link to a poem by David Whyte, “What to Remember When Waking”.  The poem counsels us to bring memories of a deeper world into this one and to recognize how the ego’s plans may be trumped by a deeper plan:

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
wholeheartedly
will make plans
enough
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

4. I love the poem, but I have read it many times and at least a dozen people have sent me links in the past. So I am in no haste to re-read it. However, I am struck by the graphic, a beautiful black-and-white photo of a canal in Amsterdam, apparently taken by the poet himself this month. I tell my Facebook friend, "I will look for an Amsterdam connection today."

5. The music on the phone stops. I have a human being on the phone, a very nice one, as it turns out, with a promising name: Angela. I tell her my situation and suggest we might want to look at rebooking my whole itinerary.

6. In about one minute, she has done the trick. My whole itinerary has been changed. The middle flight now takes me from Detroit to....AMSTERDAM.

There really is a logic of resemblances in life, and (as I was again reminded) we need to be in a state of good poetic health to read it and apply it.

The moment I wrote and posted this short narrative I received notification that I have been upgraded to First class for the first leg of the new itinerary. This stuff works.

Photo © David Whyte 
Brouwersghract, 
Early Morning Amsterdam September 2014