Inspiration for today

Almost a year ago, I chanced upon this beautiful poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who is also known as ‘Thay’ (means teacher) to his students.  Recognized as the father of mindfulness in the West, he was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1967.  He has written over 100 books, 40 of which have been translated to English.  Although I can’t quite say that I am a Buddhist, his teachings have deeply resonated with me and his life of service, a lifelong inspiration.

I have just  learned that he is now awaiting the end of his life in his home country.  I thought of the many lives he has touched through his wisdom, courage and compassion.  In his honor, I am sharing this poem of one-ness with you.

I wish you all a blessed week ahead.

 

Please Call Me By My True Names 

by Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow

because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second

to be a bud on a spring branch,

to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,

learning to sing in my new nest,

to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,

to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,

in order to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and

death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,

and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time

to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,

and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,

feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,

my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,

and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,

who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,

and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,

and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people,

dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.

My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,

so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,

so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,

so I can wake up,

and so the door of my heart can be left open,

the door of compassion.

Friendship

“A true friend holds us lovingly accountable to our own ideals, but is also able to forgive, over and over, the ways in which we fall short of them and can assure us that we are more than our stumbles, that we are shaped by them but not defined by them, that we will survive […]

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

Anger and a lesson learned

I am not sure if it’s the relentless  summer heat or if it’s part of aging, as suggested by my friend,  but my patience well has been quite dry lately.  In other words, I find myself way more easily irritated.  I couldn’t even stand hearing myself when I gave in to these petty annoyances as it’s impossible to shove angry words back in once they have been callously spat and sputtered out.Read More »

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

Foxtrot in the kitchen

It is the most wonderful thing when a memory catches up with one unexpectedly.  Maybe it’s the balmy summer night air or maybe it’s the sight of a box of waffle ice cream cones that sat unopened on my kitchen counter top.  But, I found myself pulled into a dance that took place half a lifetime ago.Read More »

Photo by Michael Benz on Unsplash

Cruelty

“People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that’s a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel.”

~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

News of late have just simply been upsetting and are beyond my ability to comprehend.  I know that suffering is unavoidable, that unfairness exist in our lives.  But, to see human cruelty so blatantly executed and even defended leave me reeling in disbelief and anger.  Children so young were forcibly separated from their parents and put in cage-like confinements.  To even try and justify that is obscene. As a mother, as a woman…no, as a mere human being, I am beyond horrified.  Every day has been a test to the limit of our forbearance.  The decision to halt the separation provides a slight relief but I brace myself for the uncertainty of tomorrow.  Cruelty, after all, knows no bounds.

 

*Featured image by Michael Benz on Unsplash

 

A tree, enchanted - image by My Li'l Place

A tree, enchanted

“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Today, I stumbled upon a tree, generous with its shade and a beauty to behold.  It beckoned imagination of mystical beings and wood fairies, of the likes of Oberon, Titania and Puck from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.  How I rued not bringing my regular camera with me but the phone would have to do.

 

 

 

*Featured image by My Li’l Place

Day 3 – Three days, three quotes challenge

It’s the last quote and the third day of the challenge. Thanks to Ana at Mom Life with Chiari Blog for this wonderful opportunity.

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