Do some kinds of shellfish
live past the outgrowing of their shells?
Is there the possibility for them
Of easing out slowly
from the constraining tightness?
Such a beautiful shell
spiral bound, glistening with stars.

Is there a shellfish
that releases it’s hold
and slides free
into the weightless wonder
of the moving tides,
Homeless in the immensity?

What wonder
To feel this easing in the human experience.
The unhooking from the moorings
The smooth glide out into the total vulnerability
with the willingness to be another’s dinner
no more protection is needed
There is nothing to do
But find the current
And go.

– Alice Gardner

Note: Alice Gardner is the author of Life Beyond Belief: Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice.  You can read more of her lovely poems HERE.





8 Responses to Oceanography

  1. isaiah says:

    Just reading this allows me freedom to slip the confines of thought too confining and ask, “what took so long?”

    “Find the current and go.”


  2. Dipti says:

    wonderful dear brother..

  3. Krishna.n.c says:

    Beloved Papa Darvish,
    My humble salaam and hugs for you:))
    Enchanting poem…having a beautiful message- Release your hold, and glide free into the weightless wonder!! There is nothing to do but find the current and go :)
    Talks directly to my Self and my current situation ;) Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    My love, hugs and prayers for you sweetheart :))

  4. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for your kind comments on this lovely poem. Indeed it speaks to each of us to break the shells of habit and our nafs, and to simply let go into the current of life :) That is the way to freedom, and also the way to surrender to God.

    Ya Haqq!

  5. Maithri says:

    Precious brother Irving,

    These words are truly spectacular…

    To let go and find the ocean….

    To be free.

    Surely this is the goal of every path.

    Sending you and yours, soft light, deep peace, and fragrant days,


  6. Marahm says:

    I read this poem from the perspective of death, the shell being the human body, of course. Like all good writing, this one can be understood from several perspectives.

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