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Posts Tagged ‘choices’

When Making a Choice

 

 

 

It’s like any new landscape. At first,

You don’t know which direction to look.

Each time you look east, you regret

 

you can’t at the same time look west.

Soon you become a spinning top, unable

to focus anywhere without wanting to turn

 

and see what you’re missing. For a time,

it serves you, this willingness to see every side,

keeps you from making poor choices. But then,

 

spinning and spinning becomes dizzying.

What would it be like, you wonder,

to make a clear choice and then walk

 

that direction and never look back?

And so you try it—at first by forcing yourself

to look only one way. It’s not easy to walk

 

a straight line when you’ve been spinning.

Then you begin to notice how good it feels

to put one foot in front of the other

 

and walk a single course. It is, after all,

all a single person can do. How easy, now

that you’re not always looking away,

 

how easy to notice every detail about this landscape,

to revel in each step, to focus being

here, and now here, and only here.

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Invitation

 

 

 

The day dares me to become a tree,

dares me to root, to stay in one place,

to choose this here, to plant myself in this now,

to stretch down even as I reach up.

 

But there are gusts in me, and wild squalls,

whirling impulses that swirl and spin

and whisper to me to be current, be flow.

Winds in me that says go, darling, go.

 

And the day says stay to me. The day

says, find evergreen in the moment.

The day offers me its ground, its generous soil.

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To live a day, to care for a single day, is to shape a life. Each day is an opportunity to choose where to place our care. What shall we do today? What simple acts of remembrance will we use to punctuate our time and enrich our walk upon the earth this single day?

—Wayne Muller, How, Then, Shall We Live?

 

 

How many kindnesses did I miss today?

How many chances to help another

did I walk past, my eyes somehow fixed

 

already around the corner? How much beauty

went unnoticed? How much joy left

unspent? I am like the hiker at the foot

 

of the mountain who wanders in the fog,

not noticing the fog circles only the base. If I chose

to climb just a little, I’d see how red cliffs reflect

 

afternoon sun, see how new snow

catches in the trees and makes of each limb

a masterpiece. How is it I am not in

 

a constant state of wonder? Even

the fog gathers the pink of morning,

makes a practice of softening each

 

surface it touches. So simple,

the art of choosing to pay attention,

a sidewalk not so different in this regard

 

from a mountain. Every face a chance

to fall in love. Every human story

an opportunity to listen, to place our care.

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When you walk along a cliff

and look over the edge,

a bit of the cliff will find its way

into your thoughts

 

and there, that place where

you were feeling quite safe

just a moment ago, now feels

charged with exposure.

 

Just today, a cliff said to me

that if I only would jump

then perhaps I would find my wings,

or perhaps then a tender angel

 

would deliver me—

you will never know,

said the cliff, if you keep walking

in that same direction you always walk—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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trillions of choices, sure, but really it all amounts to one long road

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And So Live

at the splitting of paths
there is no sign

transform
or die

tough choice
till we realize
we must do both

*This is the first in a series of 84-character poems about transmutation, Brian Swimme’s seventh power of the universe. In EnlightenNext, he writes, “This is the way in which the universe sometimes insists that something new come forth. … When Earth finally emerged and brought forth bacteria, why didn’t the universe just call it a day? Isn’t it enough that tiny pieces of Earth jump with life? Apparently not. Our universe is a self-transcending community of beings, and transcendence is often a necessity.”

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