Hi, Joanna. Thank you for asking about the poem. I wanted to let you know how much your sharing from the circle in class two weeks ago (which I just watched earlier today) meant to me. I resonate with the vulnerability of feeling like I don’t have an effing clue as I go through this deep, unknown passage at such a seemingly late stage in life. It’s like I am, indeed, at the threshold of a powerful rite of passage, in my late 60s — and feeling much more like a wacked out, clueless adolescent with hormonal issues than a ‘wise elder.’ Good to know I’m not alone.
So, yes, the poem is perfect, isn’t it? It’s a piece that has been traveling with me for almost a quarter century now — I even included it on the opening page of my graduate school project in 1999. Hadn’t thought about it in a long time. It just jumped into my consciousness when asked to share something for this class. Magic…
It was collected by one of my instructors at the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California — Mary Ford-Grabowsky. I don’t have a published source (as I recall it was something she shared with us in class). My notes say it was adapted from a Mayan Rite of Passage (Yucatan Peninsula, 1st millenium).
Mary Ford-Grabowsky did edit a book, published in 2002, Sacred Voices: Essential Women’s Wisdom Through the Ages. Although this poem is not in there (I just checked!), it is a beautiful collection, something you might enjoy.
Here’s the poem again in case anyone else is interested:
A Prayer for Your Journey
You are to wander now,
entering and departing through strange villages, strange rooms.
You may feel that you are wandering or lost,
that your gifts and the items of trade that you carry with you
find no favor wherever you go.
Do not turn back!
Do not go back to sleep.
Something you are accomplishing.
Something the universe is assigning you.