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Sojourner

Updated on November 3, 2013
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Sojourner

Warm welcome for warm welcome

You improve me with your presence

You are beautiful and strange

You rearrange

My priorities

Sojourner

You shine through

Time-weathered features

Your white flowing robes thin and frayed

Animated by joy

Inside you

Sojourner

Sage of motion

Traveling light

Your generous hand

Detaches from your beloveds 

Without resistance

You make me rich

And you are none the poorer

Sojourner

You laugh at danger

Fight without anger

Tenderly holding each day

Softly grasping life

But loosely

Knowing it could go away

Just like you

Sojourner

Warm farewell for warm farewell

Your mark is fair upon the skin of my soul

They say we will not pass this way again

But if we do

I hope I see you


The self is a layered thing. Digging down, there is no telling what you’ll find.

As I was remaining open and receptive, the word ‘sojourner’ came to me. I was not meditating at the time. I was working at my high pressure job. But it was toward the end of the day and my tired mind was relaxed and pliant. My thoughts were at a minimum. There was room for the word to come in. I would say I was in a semi-meditative state: empty, yet super-aware.

With the word came the image of a smiling person of indeterminate lineage – perhaps Semitic like my ancestors – dressed in robes made from a naturally light colored cloth. They had a weathered appearance, like someone who had spent a lot of their life outdoors. Their eyes were bright: intelligent and perceptive with a twinkle of merriment in them. Their hair was covered with a kind of a hood that was part of their robe.

When drawing the sojourner I was once again in a semi-meditative state, reaching through personal and racial memory to this soul who once touched me without touching. As best I could I made representation of this special person who touched my soul in another life.

There is a story of a man who sat in ritual pain at the door of his tent and welcomed the angels of God. There is another story of a man who visited the great sojourner family and exclaimed at the beauty of their tents.

What is the beauty of a tent? True, a tent is a mobile living space. One could make it nice, moving always perfectly so that there would be just enough stuff to be luxurious without there being too much stuff to carry. But is that beautiful?

I think the beauty of a tent comes from the person or persons who live within, and the beauty of the person also comes from within. Deep inside is where beauty is made and maintained. Beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is as deep as the soul.

The sojourner is temporary: here today, gone tomorrow. Yet is that really any different than any one of us? We are all transients upon this plane, mere visitors who must, unlike the sojourner, leave everything behind when we move on. The true sojourner leaves without a trace, save the gifts they gave. In grace they come and with grace they go.

Have you seen their tents? They are beautiful.


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      What a nice thing to say! Thank you. I do not have a site for my art work. Most art I create is for my own enjoyment, except when I make an illustration to accompany a piece of writing.

    • cbpoet profile image

      cbpoet 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Unique ... Do you have a site for your artistic drawings/collections?

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Ruby. I love to draw and to play with colors. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Beautiful Tom. I love your art work..

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Jerilee! Interesting! I hadn't thought of the Native American connection. Where I went to elementary and high school, the student body was 40 percent Native American, and I am a fan of Sherman Alexi's fiction and poetry ... it would make sense there would me some influence :)

      Well, Kim, I wouldn't worry. Take a step - look! It is the next one. I notice that you are saying unnecessary a lot. Everything is both necessary and unnecessary simultaneously, as we are and are not at the same time.

      Savor the illusion. Flavor it funny, enthusiastic, sexy and interesting. Add a dash of the unexpected. Smells like fun!

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      6 years ago

      Tom awaiting next steps what do we do?

      Nothing is temporary

      but keep hearing unnecessary lately

      Oh boy...................

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      6 years ago from United States

      I was struck by how well the sojourner matches Native American thought and definitely second Robie2 comments. Wonderful!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Exactly. Me, too, Kim. Me, too.

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      6 years ago

      where am i?

      so confused.........

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much, Kim, Robie, G-ma and Anginwu. I love the idea of the sojourner on this earth, as temporary as all of us. Thanks again :)

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      6 years ago

      Love the last four lines of the poem. The line "Your mark is fair upon the skin of my soul" is beautiful. Enjoyed the read.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      6 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      "Your mark is fair upon the skin of my soul

      They say we will not pass this way again"...

      Love it...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      6 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I love the poem. I love the explanation. And I particularly love the last sentence "The true sojourner leaves without a trace, save the gifts they gave. In grace they come and with grace they go. "

      May we all exit this life like true sojourners. Voted up for truth, beauty, and authenticity.

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 

      6 years ago

      Without resistance

      You make me rich

      And you are none the poorer

      Sojourner

      You laugh at danger

      Fight without anger

      Tenderly holding each day

      Softly grasping life

      this was over the top my dear friend, I read it 3 times and felt it deeper each time, these were incredible lines

      bravo

      up awesome beautiful blogged sideways and into the galaxy it shall go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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