Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thank You Caroline

Mary Oliver, “Invitation” in REDBIRD (Boston: Beacon Press, 2008) pp. 18-19.


Oh do you have time
   to linger
       for just a little while
          out of your busy

and very important day
   for the goldfinches
      that have gathered
         in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
   to see who can sing
      the highest note,
          or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
   or the most tender?
      Their strong, blunt beaks
          drink the air

as they strive melodiously       
not for your sake        
 and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
   but for sheer delight and gratitude—
      believe us, they say,
         it is a serious thing

just to be alive
   on this fresh morning
      in this broken world.
 I beg of you,
do not walk by
   without pausing
       to attend to this
           rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
   It could mean everything.
      It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
         You must change your life.

And do you have time for babies,
time for rain puddles,
And time to splash?

Bows to my little Teacher


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