Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


February 2013

Don’t You Wish You Wrote Like This?

And if you don’t write like this (maybe you do), at least we can try to live like this:

From Derek Walcott:

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Mindful Subway Smiles

There I am on the subway, unwinding from the day listening to my favorite Buddhist podcaster, Tara Brach. And all of a sudden I notice that while listening to a talk on mindfulness I’m also texting my husband about dinner for the kids and glancing at the NYTimes. Will I ever learn? The task switching defeats the purpose but is the very reason I keep listening.

And then I noticed the sunset over the East River. And the Wall Street area building where I used to work.

And then an older lady who got on the train with her older husband. And two of us stood to offer our seats. They smiled. We smiled.

A hectic day ended with mindful kindness.

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