On Reflection

Uncharted paths-

do those words

go together?

It’s as if our eyes

are on the


of our heads

so we can see


we’ve come from.

Can we see

where we’re going?

If we walked


would we then see

the path ahead?

A puzzle.

Isn’t life

all a puzzle?


looked at

in reverse-

seems to show us

what we needed

to find

the place

where we are now.

Those steps

seemed like

zigs and zags

at the time can,

in retrospect,

reveal that we took

the most direct path

after all.

Living Lines, Meaning of Life

See What Is

See what is.

The tape playing

in the back of our minds

often distracts us from

what is right in front of us.

Taken together,

“see what is”

are three challenging words.


several times a day

to check


the tape in my mind




what is right

in front of me

can bring me


the present moment.


Age and Wisdom


should be


than I was.


composes a story

of shames and amazements.

The shames I closed

inside myself,

but the amazements,

at a sun streaked wall,

at the thrill

of an oriole,

a face,

an iris,

a volume of poems,

a person,

endure and return

in brightness.

Such moments lifted me

above my lameness.

-Czeselaw Milosz , Polish Nobel Laureate in Literature

 I don’t necessarily feel wiser as I age. However, I do remember coming upon similar challenges at earlier times and hoping that what I learned would help me.It is natural to assume that age will confer wisdom. It is really a hope that I will remember-and act on-what I’ve learned from life’s experiences.   Sometimes, I realize that asking “is this mine?”  is the question to ask myself. Often the quiet answer comes and it is “NO”.