Poem – Message

It’s like God
stops you on the street
to hand you a message
and your hands are full
and your pockets are full
and you are late
to a doctor’s appointment.

But it is God
so you want to take the message
so you put down your plastic sacks
because you went shopping
on the way to the doctor’s office
and the lines were long
and that is why you are late

and now your hands are free
but your coat is hard to unbutton
and you want to unbutton it
because you want to put the message
in the
inner pocket
of the coat
so it will be safe
and not get smudged
or lost.

I’d rather not
be like this.

I’d rather be checking in
all the time,
saying
Here I am God.
Do you have any messages
for me?
All the time
not just accidentally
not leaving it so God
has to tackle me
or bump
into me
on the street
for me to
stop
long enough to give God my time.

still point

Being calm is like being in a small rowboat on a large lake. The motorboats speed by. The waves hit the boat. They threaten to overwhelm it.

The energy from unhappy people is exactly the same. You can choose how it affects you. Do you stand up in your boat and jump up and down, angry that they disturbed your peaceful morning? Doing that only upsets it more.

You can choose to affect them by your actions as well. You can be a force for good by remaining calm. You aren’t adding to the ripples.

When a child falls, he will often look to his parents to see what to do. If they freak out, so will he. If they handle it calmly, so will he. Sick people need to see how to deal with bad situations by watching healthy people deal with them well.

The more peaceful I get, the crazier the world seems to get. It doesn’t seem fair. They should get peaceful along with me. Maybe with time. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to let them rock my boat too much.

This is the same as becoming sober. You don’t notice everybody is drunk until you stop being drunk. Then they are annoying. You don’t notice how everybody reeks of cigarette smoke until you quit smoking.

The trick is to stay calm. Stay sober. Stay peaceful.

Answer the anger with a smile. Don’t yield to it. To yield to it, to agree with it, to follow it is to feed it, to give it energy.

The feeling of anger can be like a bell, calling us to prayer. It can be a reminder to still ourselves and find our center. In this way, a bad situation is sanctified. In this way, pain is a teacher and a friend.

You neutralize a flame with wind or water.

I’m trying to be a calm presence at work, where most of the unbalanced people are. There is still a lot of griping, even though the unhealthy managers are gone. I’m starting to realize that some people aren’t happy unless they are unhappy. Being miserable is their normal. Happiness scares them.

But boy are they harshing my mellow.