This past Sunday, my morning message at the contemplative service focused on the scripture of Mary and Martha, two women who shared their hospitality with Jesus in two very different ways–Marth, just doing and Mary, just being. [for the text, you can read here]
This morning, as I sat at my desk working at a computer, I listened to an interview by Krista Tippett from On Being. She spoke with Sylvia Boorstein about what we nurture. It is a wonderful piece on taking care of our own lives. [for the interview, click here]
At the end, Sylvia closed with one of her favorite poems, and I thought I’d share it here today.
Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.