SOME ADVICE

ADVICE TO MY CHILDREN 
AND GRANDCHILDREN

Notice the way stars seem to rustle 
when you see them from a field. 
Find the place where sunsets disappear,
and visit it when you're sad. 
Listen to the breezes 
when they organize themselves and sing together. 
And keep your eyes 
on other faces. 
Notice the kindness 
that often blossoms  
in these faces 
like crowds of flowers.
Be like water, 
just waiting and watching and choosing patience 
over chancy things like tenaciousness, 
and work with thoroughness and silkiness 
like water does,
doing the singing and dancing of the universe
with serenity and acquiescence. 
See mist as something special, 
and downpours too,
and suffering also, 
because it causes understanding
and flows beside us 
forever and ever.



INSIDE

­­WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Monday, July 4, 2022 

         Today, I hope to keep in mind that there is no outside anywhere. All of reality today will be on the inside, because the inside is everywhere. In a universe that truly has no boundaries, everywhere is inside, and everywhere is actually at the center of the inside. I have spent so much of my life trying to cope with what I saw as ‘outside’ situations –  events and circumstances that seemed to be separate from me and sometimes threatening me – but now, at the truly awe-inspiring age of 80, I see clearly that everything is on the inside, and that the inside is a boundless and harmonious wonderland. For a large part of my life, I struggled to find peace somewhere outside of me – in people and material things and situations – but now I see there is no outside anywhere, and the inside is endless and everlastingly peaceful (even though I often don’t see the peace anywhere). Today, like all days, the kingdom of serenity is inside everything, including me – and every moment, including me, is inside this quiet kingdom.

Could be a pretty sweet day! 

Below, two best friends in their 80’s enjoying a lovely walk on the beach this morning …

WORDS LIKE LIGHT

Friday, August 19, 2021

STORM

            A serious wind-and-rain storm called Henri will come close to Connecticut in the next few days, which actually gives me a great opportunity to consider storms of other kinds – storms that make Henri seem more like a fascinating spectacle to be studied and appreciated rather than a mighty monster There’s the storm, for instance, of patience – a soft storm that knows no boundaries and can absorb endless amounts of fear flowing from storms like Henri. There’s the storm called kindness, a storm that actually loves storms like Henri, because they give it the chance to spread its gentle helpfulness for boundless distances. Then there’s the silent, irresistible storm called acceptance, a bottomless and shoreless ocean of undisturbed tolerance that truly welcomes the Henri’s of this world, and by welcoming them softly turns their menace into coolness, serenity, and a source of wisdom.  

            So perhaps I should say, “Welcome, Henri. Storms you’ve never before imagined await your presence.”      

A MIGHTY FORCE
(about Bill M., 87, Blessings, CT, USA)

He trusts it, 
the present moment,
a force he feels 
will always stand beside him. 
The whole sky 
could sit inside 
the present moment,
and mighty storms 
of softness are stirring
inside each one. 
He walks in confidence,
for a friend
is always with him. 

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

EVERYTHING WORKS

            Sometimes small things don’t seem to work in our house, which actually gives me the opportunity to stand back and see, again, that the whole world always works flawlessly, in one way or another. If a window won’t close easily, I could say it’s working very well as one of my teachers, telling me to take my time and stay patient when problems arise. If the flow of water from our well slows while I’m showering, the good news is that it’s flowing more slowly because it’s working in perfect rhythm with the condition of the water table beneath us. If a light switch won’t switch on, it’s possibly working quite nicely as a reminder to me to stay serene and let small problems pass by like the breezes that are blowing outside this morning, making trees sway in the most perfect ways.    

WORK IN PROGRESS

This poem isn't sure what it wants to do.
It has wings, 
but they're just made of words
on a silver screen. 
It has the feet of dancers and racers,
but whispering is what it loves to do. 
It was born in the morning, 
but may bring its best gifts at sunset.
It praises the pulse of life, 
but also screams from its veins and bones. 
It's a small, confused poem
in kids shorts and sneakers, 
poor thing.