February 10, 2013

The Way You Are

I know the digging
The broken fingernails
The frantic scratching
Hard earth, sharp stones
Can’t stop you
Knowing you’re almost there
Where the answer will lie like a glowing light
Buried and hidden from sight
You’ll go all the way to China
And back

You will break your back
Break your shovels
Break some hearts
Before you will ever find
The broken part of you.
You have found the wrong question
And can’t put it away
Turning it over and over in your hand

A shiny coin, an illusion
That your mind can’t let go of
Watching it turning, turning
Hypnotized to the soft seductive message
Etched on the metal
“What’s wrong with me?”
It’s a fool’s gold
You chase

I know the search
I love your journey
You will find some answers
But not this truth…
You’re perfect
Just the way you’re supposed to be
Why can’t that be enough
Why can’t you, any of us, come to a place of peace
A place of rest
In that.

You’re perfect, just the way you are
And there’s no one else like you.

James wrote The Way You Are for his sister, my friend Monica, in response to her search for understanding her lifetime struggle with distraction.

Jame's poem resonated with me because I too struggled with distraction through all my years of formal education, and still do.

It took me until recently to realize that being a top ranked swimmer back then was one of the only ways I ever really felt successful.

It's amazing what we figure out as the years move along.

The truth shall set us free.

Thank goodness for this.

Happy early Valentine's Day everyone.

Extra XOXOXOs, 


  1. Very lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lou-
    You and I are karmically connected- yes? I love that my brothers poetry resonates so much with you. I never "got" poetry until I began reading his. I love reading his poems because they capture so eloquently what formal writing structure just can't. The way his mind works amazes me, and the way he loves me is even more amazing. He is working on publishing more... and one day, a book of poetry. His blog is called Stumbling Toward Certainty...http://jlgrady.wordpress.com I hope you follow him because he really longs for the support and feedback of his writing. I know the beauty in you- because you recognize the beauty in others. I love you. M

  3. So nice that you found my blog. I have been visiting your blog several times, not good in leaving comments..but you inspire!
    Yes, we are valuable and good enough as we are! Sooo true! A truth that has to be told every single day to ourselves and to all around! Thanks for reminding me!

  4. This is wonderful. I've never thought about distraction as a form of addiction. I think we all struggle with it.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Monica, I just signed up for Jame's new posts. I forget the first poem I read that he wrote and loved that you must have posted on TRP. Do you remember what it was?

    Kass, if you see this can you explain distraction as a form of addiction? I don't quite know what you mean. Maybe in the poem how James portrayed Monica as searching so intensely for an answer to what is wrong? Thank you!

    I think you are right that we all struggle with distraction issues. With forever increasing technology I think it is most likely at an all time high.


  6. It’s true. Looking back at low esteem
    I always found something.
    -- not always what
    I was looking for.
    Sometimes it’s a question
    I lovingly save the answer to
    In my caliginous collections.

  7. Louise - I believe almost everything that keeps us away from our truest nature has an addictive quality (and as you've pointed out in your post, can be viewed as a distraction). It's heavier than habit. Anything that gives you a little "hit" of interest or stimulation is like a drug.

    The "search" or the imposition of the idea (fed by any number of outside forces) that something is "wrong" can be more compelling than realizing the beauty of our true natures.

    (In the third stanza, I think it should be "your" instead of "you’re mind.")

  8. Thank you for your explanation Kass.

    I think you're right.

    It is interesting what compels each one of us.

    I guess when everything is said and done what we all might be yearning to feel is the beauty of our own true natures.

  9. P.S. Thank you for catching the typo.

  10. Love the poetry. Love the hearts. So sweet both.

  11. Loving myself when I can remember to remind myself to do it is such a relief. It is so directly simple. Time out. Settle down. Shut out the noise. Love myself. Whew !

    In terms of relationship of self with self and that constant conversation and patter, it is so much simpler. Return to the fork in the road. The fork that once I am past it and way down the other road - the one so well rutted and bumpy, so much noise and so convincing with its repetitious logic - the one with the same old aching clutter of familiar and unforgiving stories catapulting me down it over and over again.

    Return to the fork in the road as though awakening from a bad dream. And choose the other way in this dialectic. I give myself permission to love me unreservedly. Whole heartedly. No back talk. It feels so much better. Takes place entirely inside of my own body where the me of me lives. So direct and personal and accessible. It is such a relief. And time being here so short. So why not? Why wait any longer for the world to begin. Everything becomes so fresh and welcoming.