Lost and Found

person in the forest

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

–David Wagoner

It feels like we are living in unprecedented times. Economic turmoil, climate change, and terrorism are just a few of the challenges.

In some ways we are living in unprecedented times. This period of history has never passed before. The combination of challenges is unique.

In other ways, we are not. The United States and the world have experienced severe economic difficulties previously. People have confronted different combinations of challenges unique to their time.

What is clear is that we are experiencing a period of major change, which can provoke feelings of worry and fear, and evoke desperate action. Continue Reading »

How Do I Listen

dogHow Do I Listen?

How
Do I
Listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master
Speaking to me
His
Cherished
Last
Words.
–Hafiz

Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muḥammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī was a celebrated Persian poet, known by his pen name of Hāfez. In his poem, Hafiz, born in 1315, asks an ageless question — “How do I listen to others?” His response is a tall order – to listen “as if everyone were my Master speaking to me his cherished last words.”

Who among us can possibly listen that well? All the time?

And yet, another poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, has reminded us in her poem, “The Art of Disappearing,”

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.

To be that attentive and to be that present takes dedicated intention.

But what a gift of caring to listen so well! Continue Reading »