Go gently today, don’t hurry
or think about the next thing. Walk
with the quiet trees, can you believe
how brave they are—how kind? Model your life
after theirs. Blow kisses
at yourself in the mirror
you think you’ve messed up. Forgive
yourself for not meeting your unreasonable
expectations. You are human, not
God—don’t be so arrogant.
Praise fresh air
clean water, good dogs. Spin
something from joy. Open
a window, even if
it’s cold outside. Sit. Close
your eyes. Breathe. Allow
of it all to pulse
fingertips, bare toes. Breathe in
breathe out. Breathe until
your bigness, until the sun
rises in your veins. Breathe
until you stop needing
to be different.
by Julia Fehrenbacher
This poem came at a good time for me today when I woke up to a list of things to do that’s longer than the day itself, and a bit of dread at the inevitable failure to accomplish it all. So luckily, here was an invitation to forgive ‘not meeting unreasonable expectations’ straight away, in this poem The Cure for It All.
The slightly grandiose title made me chuckle. Really? A cure for it ALL?! But on reflecting a little, particularly the last few lines feel quite radical in their potential. Allowing ‘the river of it all’ to pulse through me, to ‘breathe until you find your bigness, until the sun rises in your veins. Breathe until you stop needing anything to be different.’ That’s pretty deep interconnectedness and radical acceptance… and reading the poem, I felt my shoulders soften and my breath become easier, and I’m actually feeling pretty spacious now. Nothing has changed yet everything is different…
It made me ponder on the power of words, of poetry. The author of this poem, poet and painter Julia Fehrenbacher, said that “mindful poetry is poetry that takes the reader beneath and beyond the worried, afraid, resistant chatterbox that is the mind, and drops us right in the center of a quiet stillness. Inside this quiet stillness, hearts can’t help but soften and open. It is from this connected and receptive place that we can move through the world in a way that serves, rather than hurts. Mindful poetry is medicine to a world that so needs healing.”
Or in the words of Mary Oliver: “Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”
It certainly feels like that at times to me. Other people may find that life-cherishing force in meditation, or music, or solitary walks, in dance or paintings. Today I feel grateful for these more-than-words, as I…
Sit. Close my eyes. And breathe…
I’m so very touched to see “The Cure For It All” here and to read your beautiful words about how you received my poem. Such a gift for my day. Thank you.
Many blessings to you.
With love & warmth,