The Art of Disappearing

With all of the busy holiday shopping, visiting, parties, concerts, events, crowds, etc, I thought I would share a poem that gets me through those times when it’s all too overwhelming and peopley out there.

The Art of Disappearing
When they say Don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say We should get together
say why?

It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

I came across this poem one day while trying to decide whether or not I wanted to attend a meeting after a long, tiring day. This poem arrived in my life by complete serendipity (yeah, right) as an answer. Should I go? Or stay home and rest?

I thought, “I think I’ll be a cabbage.” 🙂

That line always makes me smile. But there is great wisdom in all of these lines. We hurry and rush around frantically trying to keep up and stay involved with so many projects and events, especially around holidays and celebrations. And those times can be tremendously fun and exciting. But, sometimes it’s necessary to slow down and listen to what our bodies really need, not what our egos desire.

I did get ready to go to that meeting that night. I got in my car and I drove in the right direction. However, I did not end up at the meeting. I ended up at a health food store where I bought lavender oil, Ayurvedic herbs for stress relief, a beautiful recipe book, and a good brand of multivitamins that I had been researching for weeks in hopes of finding renewed energy (and brain power!).

Afterwards, I went home and and wrote an essay about trees while drinking hot cocoa with a warm lavender wrap around my neck.

In other words, I remembered I was just like a leaf. I remembered I could tumble any second. And so I listened to my inner self and knew what I wanted to do with my time that night.

Here’s to listening, slowing down, and, if necessary, becoming a cabbage.

I wish you all a peaceful, slow, gentle Solstice and Christmas. Cabbage rolls anyone?

SwfdHgAUQbCVLMCSyVtOCg Walking out of the woods near my house: a threshold that slows time.


30 thoughts on “The Art of Disappearing

  1. Oh I am such a cabbage! 🙂 I love that poem it is perfect.

    As an aside, I must share that I just started taking gingko biloba again for my memory. Five days in and I am already a little sharper. We can tell because the daughters and I are playing a general knowledge game called ‘Pub Quiz’ The first time I was so alarmed at the big black holes where information used to jostle about importantly that I went home and found the lost and forgotten bottle and started on the capsule intake. (I’d bought it about three months ago knowing my memory wasn’t what it was, but kept forgetting to take the capsules 🙂 ) Two days later the info was looming through the mist and yesterday it was very often there. I think I shall take gingko every day for the rest of my life after this experience.

    Sending you another dose of love and happiness and peace and joy Cheryl. See you in the New Year xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Luanne! That’s the exact same for me. I often dread doing whatever and then have a pretty good time once I’m there. IF I don’t stay too long. I get easily overwhelmed by a lot of people. But it’s also good for me to get out. I’m working for the holiday season at our local indy bookstore where I used to be a full time bookseller a couple of years ago. I’m working short 4-hour shifts, and that’s been perfect. I’ve enjoyed it this year. The clientele is really nice, and it feels all Christmasy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! A perfect poem for you:) Kindness is one of my all-time favorites. I first heard it on a CD that came with an excellent book: Saved By a Poem by Kim Rosen. The CD (audio download now, I think) has poems read by the poet or by other spiritual teachers. I recommend that book to everyone. Poetry truly has saved me many times. And kindness has, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This really speaks to me, to my own experiences, and I especially relate to how you got in the car and started driving toward where the meeting would be held and then you ended up at a health food store. I’ve often struggled with poetry, and yet all of the poems you include here speak to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it resonates! I think there are many of us who feel this way. There are several poets that really speak to me. Naomi Shihab Nye is one. If you find a free moment, read her poem ‘Kindness.’ It’s brilliant and so poignant. And unforgettable once read.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, I am still not being notified of your new posts, even though I have unfollowed and followed so I inadvertently missed this one. A beauty indeed, and very helpful info no matter what time of year. Thank you for sharing your personal experience of choosing some much needed self-care over the musts of the season. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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