Read Mark’s weekly reflections on The Huffington Post.
Beyond family or the culture and religion of our birth, life will lead us to discover the lineage we are a part, the circle of kindred spirits that nourish our soul. The difficulties of living can often make us put this lineage aside to deal with trouble first. I’ve done this and found myself lessened for putting what matters last. This poem speaks to how draining it is to put trouble first.
Old Friends, Old Teachers,
I never meant to crowd you out.
At first I would drop anything
when you would appear. And
then, it was the noise of the world
that made me save you for a more
sacred time. It was obstacle after
obstacle that drew my attention,
while I kept you like a prize for a
quiet simple day. No one told me to
make this separation. I just started
to keep what matters from what
needs to be done. I began a
life of clearing debris in order
to live in the open. But there is
always more debris. And after all
these years you’ve never failed me;
always waiting in the noise, in
the pain, in the thing
to be cleared.
A Question to Walk With: Describe one way in which you’ve put tasks before things that matter. How can you reverse this and recover the priority of embracing what is sacred?