Quest by Carrie Williams Clifford
Sarah, my sister, shares my love of poetry. Every morning, I look forward to receiving her “good morning” e-mail that includes a poem. A few weeks ago, I received the poem, “Quest” by Carrie Williams Clifford.
“My goal out-distances the utmost star,
Yet is encompassed in my inmost Soul;
I am my goal—my quest, to know myself.
To chart and compass this unfathomed sea,
Myself must plumb the boundless universe.
My Soul contains all thought, all mystery,
All wisdom of the Great Infinite Mind:
This is to discover, I must voyage far,
At last to find it in my pulsing heart.”
I read the words out loud to an empty room, but the message was too bold, too brilliant to be held within four walls. I had to read it in the open air and share it with you. As a global community, we are experiencing a new journey that demands our highest and best participation. Together, we will overcome.
And yet, our current solitude brings us to a personal journey that signifies a deeper, more intense reflection. “This is to discover, I must voyage far…” reminds us that distance is not defined by location, but upon the profound discovery of who we are.
Vancouver Seawall is a marvelous place to read poetry. Here again serendipity stepped in for as I started to recite, sunshine and snow came at the same time. It was my reminder to live, breathe, love and embrace moments given, for life continues to transform us as we, “chart and compass this unfathomed sea.”
From Poet.org: “Carrie Williams Clifford was born in September 1862 in Chillicothe, Ohio. A poet and activist, she is the author of Race Rhymes (R. L. Pendleton, 1911) and The Widening Light (Walter Reid, 1922). A co-founder and the first president of the Ohio State Federation of Colored Women, Clifford hired African-American women for the Niagara Movement, a predecessor of the NAACP. She taught in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and worked as an editor for the Cleveland Journal. She died in 1934.”