Posts Tagged ‘treasure’

There was that year
when my mother
turned used ribbons,
thin paper plates
and gold-painted plastic grapes
into a celebration.
Our small family sat
around an old oak table
and made hats
from the strange collection.
How festive it was,
so much more than enough.
Fifty years later
I remember the joy
when we tied those plates
onto our heads.
They were scraps, trash—
the miraculous kind
that needs only love
to make it shine—
scraps like this day, like words,
like ribbons of memory.

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There is in each of us an ocean
full of secrets strange and luminous,
an ocean with depths we do not understand,
with dark we often fear,
a place almost impossible to visit
and yet it moves with us
everywhere we go,
informs every conversation,
underlies every thought.
There is treasure there,
but it belongs to the depths
the way the heart
belongs to the body.
Everything depends on this.
Lately, I’m learning to think of treasure
only as a verb,
not as a thing to be taken.
I’m learning that to live
is to be an ocean.

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Treasure is a picnic
in a clearing amidst redwoods,
a black and white blanket to lie on,
a sky only blue. It’s hours to wander.
It’s the braid of conversation
between friends and the moment.
Treasure is never what we thought it was.
Once we thought we were supposed
to live perfect, unfailing lives.
Now we know treasure can look like scars.
Can emerge from the scent of burnt dreams.
Now we know treasure often arrives
only after we’ve been torn apart—
torn apart, then woven back together
with bits and strands of the world woven in,
a process that happens again and again
until we know ourselves more as the world
and less as who we thought we were.      
Sometimes, like today, the scents
of evergreen and bay weave in, too.
And the velvet of moss. And the clean
taste of water. And the heartbreak
of another who we treasure,
a heartbreak so tender,
we now feel it and grow from it
as if it is our own.

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The storehouse of treasures opens by itself. You can take them and use them any way you wish.
            —from Pacific Zen’s Miscellaneous Koan Collection

Even in deepest sorrow,
the storehouse of treasures
opens inside each moment—
I needn’t even knock on the door.
Nothing is asked of me.
I come to the storehouse
pockets empty, but feel
no need to fill my pockets.
All I want is to live in the opening.
All I want is to be used
by the treasure.
I want to be the treasure.

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There is treasure in you.

—Joi Sharp

If you were here

I would put my hand

on your heart

and hold it there

until our breaths

became a single tide,

hold it there until

I could feel the moment

when you remember

your infinite value.

It’s so easy to forget

we are treasure.

So easy to lose track

of our own immeasurable worth.

The chest rusts shut.

We think we are empty.

Amazing how easily

we are fooled into believing

we’re paupers.

Sometimes it takes another

to remind us

we have always been

not only the treasure

but also the key.

Though the hinges

are a metaphor,

the treasure is not.

We were made to open,

to share our priceless gift,

to press our hands

to each other’s hearts

and hold them there

until we all remember.

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One Golden Moment

walking toward the rainbow—

shocked to arrive

in my own life

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Right here the treasure.

Shine of rain

on the red fire hydrant.

It will not buy anything,

but in this very moment

there is nothing to buy

and no one from whom to buy it,

only a fragrant, rainy afternoon

with the gutters full to spilling

and not another soul on the street

and the aspen leaves on the hill

just at the edge of gold.

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I Felt So Safe There

Beneath the stairs in the unfinished room
was a space just large enough
for a girl age six to crawl inside and hide.
I’d tack up a thin pink blanket to dampen any light
and crouch in the dim with my dolls, my pillow.
There was a hole in the concrete block
that I scraped and smoothed, with what?
I can’t recall. The hole was small, but it was sufficient
for holding my finest treasures: a round blue bead,
an arrowhead, a wedge of weeping willow bark
that worms had carved with squiggle marks.
Had I known then what I know now, I would have also
tucked in there a tiny scrap of paper with your name on it.

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