Always Coming Home

Here is a poem from Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home, a science-fictional “anthropology of the future.” Both the book and the poem below, taken from the book, have haunted me since I read them.

The poem, Initiation Song from the Finder’s Lodge, remains one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

I’ve pasted it below:

Please bring strange things.

Please come bringing new things.

Let very old things come into your hands.

Let what you do not know come into your eyes.

Let desert sand harden your feet.

Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.

Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps

and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.

Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing

and your outbreath be the shining of ice.

May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.

May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.

May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.

May your soul be at home where there are no houses.

Walk carefully, well loved one,

walk mindfully, well loved one,

walk fearlessly, well loved one.

Return with us, return to us,

be always coming home.

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