by A. D. Gordon
transl. by Katy Z. Allen
Gordon's words are pertinent across time and space.
Strange is the matter in which I am engaged,
and deep and exceedingly wondrous.
Difficult is the path I have chosen,
and receding from the seer’s eye.
Those who walk the path of that life
which my people walked,
from a distance, stood opposite me,
and no man with me,
and many whisper to one another about me,
and many flutter about me
and have pity upon me,
and many call to me from a distance:
“Please, come, Wretched One!
Is not your way a way of darkness,
void and without order,
Is not your direction backward and not forward!
Or would you speak of changing the way of the world,
to breach the natural laws,
which cannot be broken?
Would you say to a person:
A god you are, not a person, not formed from clay?
Is not your labor in vain,
for with vanity and emptiness you will end your power,
see, after all, you are alone,
and alone you will fall,
despoiled in the bonds of your imagingings
and your dreams."