I’ve always felt the old adage that “sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me” was wrong, sadly and tragically wrong and untrue.
Words can hurt, and we’ve probably all flung them one way or another, at ourselves, or at others, especially those we love.
This morning I read Sharon Olds poem, “Looking South at Lower Manhattan Where the Towers Had Been”. It took me where I didn’t expect, and when I clicked to hear her read it, I also came across her poem “Pine Tree Ode”. I suggest you read and listen to both as a way to sink and rise even more deeply and fully into this world we share.
It’s poetry month and I’m reading ways to celebrate. One way is to choose a poem and read it outdoors. I think of what the trees and birds might want to hear today and come to balancing on weaving waves of silence. I listen to the leaves unfold as the birds draw them outwards with their notes.
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes — ah, that is where the art resides.
– Artur Schnabel
The only thing we have to bring to community is ourselves, so the contemplative process of recovering our true selves in solitude is never selfish. It is ultimately the best gift we can give to others.