To Know Yourself (Inside and Out)

Don't ruin this beautiful picture by imagining E.T. and Eliot flying across on a bicycle.  Shoot.  Shouldn't have said that...

Don't ruin this beautiful picture by imagining E.T. and Eliot flying across on a bicycle.  Shoot.  Shouldn't have said that...

Here's a little exercise for your heart:

1) One summer night, when the day has cooled off and is finally behind you...
2) Go outside, find the moon...
3) And read this poem:

“Watching the moon
at midnight,
solitary, mid-sky, 
I knew myself completely, 
no part left out.”

I stumbed upon this lovely poem, by Izumi Shikibu, a female Japanese poet who lived in the 11th Century (and as far as I can tell, a royal bad-ass,) as I was leaving home to go to college, many many moons (haha) ago.  It felt especially fitting as I was about to embark on a new chapter in my life.  

I read this poem every so often, and nine times out of ten, I still feel like that college girl on the precipice of the unknown.  At what point will I know myself completely, no part left out?  Is that a goal that is always just beyond my fingertips?

This poem, though it represents a seemingly unattainable carrot-on-a-stick, settles my heart whenever I read it because it reveals two important things:  One, the act of seeking oneself out is a continuous and perpetually evolving journey.  And Two, if ever I need to feel centered, the moon is never far away.