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?
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
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?
Walking out of the woods near my house: a threshold that slows time.