To Thrive

I said, "I spent the day upstairs
practicing the art of pure escapism
from life's leftovers."

She said, "A noble thing to do when
many spend so much time making
their selves the center of the universe."

I asked, "Do you think it is because
stories of wonder never received 
encouragement in each family of origin?"

She answered, "Or, maybe there was no
tree of life living in the middle of abandoned
gardens behind their houses."

I said, "As they say, Life requires mercy 
not sacrifice, in order for the self
and others to thrive."

She added, "Nothing like encouraging
a bit of anthropological thinking to 
de-center us from ourselves."

“…only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence…” Galatians 5:13

My God,
who listens only to me 
and blesses only me,
indulge me not once again,
attend not to my cries, this time,
but turn my life out, for freedom's
opportunities bring sinuous 
temptation once again before me
to place me at the center of my world.

4 – Of Solitude

(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)

There are some temperaments 
better adapted than others 
to these precepts of withdrawal 
from the world.

It seems to me that it is wise,
when one talks of withdrawing
from the world, to look
away from it.

It should no longer be your 
concern to make the world 
speak of you, but how you should 
speak to yourself.

Withdraw into yourself, but first
prepare to receive yourself.

3 – Of the Soul

(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)

Our sickness is of the soul;
now the soul can not escape from itself.

We have a soul that can be turned to itself;
it can be its own company;
it has the means of attack and of defence,
of giving and of receiving.

Let us not fear the becoming dull
in this solitude from wearisome inactivity;
in lonely places be to yourself a multitude.

The greatest thing in the world
is to know how to belong to oneself.