Saturday, January 10, 2009

a couple winners

I have a bazillion thoughts circling around and around and upside down in my head, and I'm not feeling up to the challenge of catching them and attempting to make sense of them just yet, so I'll leave you with a couple favorites. First, a poem by Billy Collins, whom I LOVE. His writing is gold.

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Also, a couple quotes from one of my favorite books, Simpler Living, Compassionate Life.

“Hardly anyone dares to face with open eyes the great delights of love.” –Andre Berton

“I think of my own stream of desires, how cautious I have become with love. It is a vulnerable enterprise to feel deeply and I may not survive my affections… If I choose not to become attached to nouns-a person, place, or thing-then when I refuse an intimate’s love or hoard my spirit, when a known landscape is bought, sold, and developed, chained or grazed to a stubble, or a hawk is shot and hung by its feet on a barbed wire fence, my heart cannot be broken because I never risked giving it away. “ –Terry Tempest Williams

(Note: This book is amazing in so many ways. It's a collection of essays on fundamental issues of life: time, money, food, sustainability, spirituality, and community. It provides an honest reflection on how we can live in the world but not of the world. I highly recommend it!)

Now for me...I'm heading back to my books, Healthcare Policy and Family of Origin Therapy here I come!

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