What happens when we pause to feel what’s within and around us? Can we appreciate the small details that make up the whole of our lives and hold our experience with love and care? These verses punctuate our weekly class explorations of mindfulness, gratitude and compassion.
You Reading This, Be Ready (William Stafford) Starting here, what do you want to remember? How sunlight creeps along a shining floor? What scent of old wood hovers, what softened sound from outside fills the air? Will you ever bring a better gift for the world than the breathing respect that you carry wherever you go right now? Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts? When you turn around, starting here, lift this new glimpse that you found; carry into evening all that you want from this day. This interval you spent reading or hearing this, keep it for life – What can anyone give you greater than now, starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
Daydream (A.S.J. Tessimond) One day people will touch and talk perhaps easily, And loving be natural as breathing and warm as sunlight, And people will untie themselves, as string is unknotted, Unfold and yawn and stretch and spread their fingers, Unfurl, uncurl like seaweed returned to the sea, And work will be simple and swift as a seagull flying, And play will be casual and quiet as a seagull settling, And the clocks will stop, and no one will wonder or care or notice, And people will smile without reason, even in winter, even in the rain.
Instructions for the Journey (Pat Schneider) The self you leave behind is only a skin you have outgrown. Don't grieve for it. Look to the wet, raw, unfinished self, the one you are becoming. The world, too, sheds its skin: politicians, cataclysms, ordinary days. It's easy to lose this tenderly unfolding moment. Look for it as if it were the first green blade after a long winter. Listen for it as if it were the first clear tone in a place where dawn is heralded by bells. And if all that fails, wash your own dishes. Rinse them. Stand in your kitchen at your sink. Let cold water run between your fingers. Feel it.