A Ritual to Read to Each Other by William Stafford

Have you ever heard of The Writer's Almanac? It's an awesome daily resource. It contains one poem and then information about writers celebrating a birthday. It's produced by American Public Media. I really look forward to receiving the daily newsletter! It is also available in an audio version.

Poetry is so good for the brain. I'd stopped reading it for many years, and The Writer's Almanac is my re-entry point.

A few days ago, "A Ritual to Read to Each Other" by William Stafford was featured. Many of its lines have stuck with me. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Take a deep breath. Read it slow.

What are your thoughts? What did it awaken within you? Questions? Curiosities?

  • "for there is many a small betrayal in the mind" - I don't know what this line meant for the author, but I know that our minds deceive us often.
  • "sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood" - a lot of our baggage comes back to errors of childhood. 
  • "I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact" - THIS IS SO GOOD! I love that line. It's so true! To know what occurs but not recognize the fact. That really is the root of all cruelty! We experience life and all kinds of happenings - but we don't see the full picture. We don't recognize the fact. It applies on a small scale in our interpersonal dealings - but also on a global scale in matters of politics and war. Often, something blocks us from seeing our mutual humanity with others - we don't see people or reality as they really are - we don't recognize the facts. 
  • And my very favorite, "though we could fool each other, we should consider - lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark." It seems like a line about authenticity, eh? We COULD fool each other - we could pretend that we're all so different - that no one understands - that individually, "I'm too weird/broken/strange." But community is built through authenticity and vulnerability - through NOT fooling each other. Yet if we don't take time to stop fooling...to pay attention to one another deeply...our mutual life will be lost. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts or favorite lines. Or - JUST savor it! Don't analyze a thing! Just find some words and read them today. It's so good for our brains. 

Have a beautiful Sunday. 

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