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Sojourns in the Parallel World

 We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension--though affected,
certainly, by our actions.
A world parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it "Nature"; only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be "Nature" too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions, our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute, an hour even, of pure (almost pure) response to that insouciant life: cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing pilgrimage of water, vast stillness of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane, animal voices, mineral hum, wind conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering of fire to coal--then something tethered in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers just where we've been, when we're caught up again into our own sphere (where we must return, indeed, to evolve our destinies) --but we have changed, a little.

by Denise Levertov
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