Monday, May 9, 2011

'S Wonderful

I heard what I needed to hear tonight.

I love my job, and I don't think of myself as having a high-stress profession (although with 50% of teachers leaving the profession in the first five years of teaching, you have to wonder... but I digress!). But, today was not a great day. In fact, I was pretty much in a funk by the time I got home. It wasn't any one thing that sent me over the edge. It was the five-and-a-half hour meeting today, followed by another meeting. I didn't get to teach my kids at all today, and then I had to deal with grumpy grownups. Then, by 5:00, I was one of those grumpy grownups.

Chad and I make it our nightly practice to walk our dog. During the weekday we are very consistent at stopping what we're doing, and strolling and talking while we walk together. But, tonight, I needed to go on our dog walk by myself. I debated whether or not to walk and just listen to the sounds around me; but, let's face it, Delhi doesn't have the most beautiful sounds around. So, I grabbed my iPod and my headphones, and found a good podcast to listent to while walking.

Tonight's episode was entitled What We Nurture from the public radio broadcast On Being. I will spare you the rundown of the salient details. But I would like to share this poem that the speaker imparted in the closing moments of the interview:

"Keeping Quiet"
by Pablo Naruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never undestanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Suffice it t say that I needed to hear the words of the Jewish, Buddhist psychotherapist who was the special guest on the program. As I am neither Jewish, nor am I Buddhist, it came as a bit of a surprise that this resonated so much with me this evening. If you have a moment, listen to it.

And if you have fewer moments available to you, listen to this, which also made me smile:

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