Video courtesy of Michael Crew of the Living or Existing Collective.
Juan Robles-Gil Aleman is the proud owner of a Sacred Heart Flute — a historic Native American instrument unlike a traditional flute, as it has eight chambers and is therefore capable of playing chords. It was the perfect occasion to share a poem called Lost — an old Native American elder story translated by David Wagoner.
The poem is featured in David Whyte's book The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. Here's David Whyte on Thinking Allowed — an incredible PBS series from the 90s. His recital of the poem starts at 5:05, but the entire video discussing the role of poetry is worth watching. He also has a great TED Talk on The Conversational Nature of Reality.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.