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The Self and the Mulberry

 I wanted to see the self, so I looked at the mulberry.
It had no trouble accepting its limits, yet defining and redefining a small area so that any shape was possible, any movement.
It stayed put, but was part of all the air.
I wanted to learn to be there and not there like the continually changing, slightly moving mulberry, wild cherry and particularly the willow.
Like the willow, I tried to weep without tears.
Like the cherry tree, I tried to be sturdy and productive.
Like the mulberry, I tried to keep moving.
I couldn't cry right, couldn't stay or go.
I kept losing parts of myself like a soft maple.
I fell ill like the elm.
That was the end of looking in nature to find a natural self.
Let nature think itself not manly enough! Let nature wonder at the mystery of laughter.
Let nature hypothesize man's indifference to it.
Let nature take a turn at saying what love is!

Poem by Marvin Bell
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