From The Kabir Book (version by Robert Bly)
I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travellers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or resting?
There is no river at all, no boat, and no boatman.
There is no towrope either, no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!
And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.
Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don’t go off somewhere else!
Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things,
And stand firm in that which you are.
And when at last the road
gives out, I’ll walk –
harsh grass, sea maws,
lichen-crusted bedrock –
and hole up the cold
summer in some battered
the brittle waves
til my eyes evaporate
and I’m willing again
to deal myself in:
having watched them
breach, breathe, and dive
far out in the glare,
like stitches sewn in a rent
almost beyond repair.
It is too late to start
For destinations not of the heart.
I must stay here with my hurt.
by me to me....
Are you still looking for that damn river? If you want to swim, swim now. But remember you are not a fish. And while we’re on the subject remember you are not a bird, you can’t fly. Your feet need to be firmly planted on the ground.