Reflection for April 12, 2017

2017maybePlease Call Me By My True Names

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
even today I am
still arriving

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that are alive.

I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird which,
when the Spring comes
arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am a frog
swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am a grass snake
that silently feeds itself
on the frog.

I am the child of Uganda, all skin and bone
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant
selling deadly weapons in Uganda.

I am a twelve year-old girl
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,

with plenty of poer in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay his
“debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the earth.
My pain like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names
so I can hear all the cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by true names,
so I can wake up
and the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh
May 17, 2016

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