Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Desired Things

I've been thinking a lot about "Desiderata." I know that was a long post yesterday and to tag this poem onto the end was perhaps unfair. I've been familiar with it for a long time; Mrs. P posted it on our closet door when we shared a room in college. As a result, as soon as Psycopat started reciting, I knew what it was. Now I find myself coming back to it, seeking.

"Speak your truth quietly and clearly;"

I am still learning to do this, and have to remind myself in the scary moments that nothing bad has ever come of me asking for what I need, or saying what I believe. YaYa Words of Thunder and Desi keep me honest on this.

"...and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

I'm taking this as a reminder to be patient. It's not just listening but waiting, helping but not interrupting. That "finishing someone else's sentence" thing? Really, it's not okay and I need to stop doing it.

"Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself."

Uhhh, if I don't hold myself to high standards, who will? And if I don't flagellate myself for not meeting them, who will? The executive director at Harry's Mother said to me once, "You're 'shoulding' all over yourself." Of course then I can get all over my case for not lightening up enough. I can't win, some days.

"You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

I don't need to say anything else about this, I think. Max Ehrmann expressed how I think the universe works, forty years before I was born. But just to keep me humble, it turns out there is "Deteriorata" (which I found on Wikipedia while searching the original):

You are a fluke of the universe.
You have no right to be here.

Whether you can hear it or not,

The universe is laughing behind your back.

I'm taking the attitude that the universe is laughing with me, rather than at me. Even when some days are "If I weren't laughing I'd be crying" days.

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