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that which is precious

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Christmas cards, gifts left at the door, emails, and the death of a dear friend followed by the kindest exchange of letters with his widow–all serve as one gigantic reminder: Do not delay contacting those you love, or once loved, or wished you could have loved. Please write, phone, send pyjama-grams, borrow a donkey; whatever. Just don’t put it off any longer. If apologies are needed, make them. If forgiveness is overdue, offer it. If things were left unsaid, say them (or let them go once and for all). Whatever the obstacle, be courageous. Reach for the ‘lost’ friend who’s been in your heart all along. One of you could die tomorow. As Rumi says:

Step off
proudly into sunlight,
not looking back.
Take sips of this pure wine being poured
Don’t mind that you’ve been given a dirty cup.

source: excerpt from: Barks, C. (1997) (trans.). The illuminated Rumi. New York: Broadway Books, p. 32. image: This book was illuminated by Michael Green (website under construction).


3 responses »

  1. Kathy Capacci

    So I must tell you how much I enjoy your writings and how much your gentle kindness and quiet understanding meant to me when my husband lost his job last year and I had to leave behind family, my wonderful hospice job and my beloved Victoria. I couldn’t even talk about it at the time I was so upset. But change is a fact of life and I have found another hospice job in Seattle and a new life here with my husband. I have always tried to look at life as a series of opportunities and I am exploring them now. I learned a Haiku poem many years ago that I think of in times of change.
    When my house burned down
    I then had a better view
    Of the rising moon.
    Again, thank you, Peter, for your presence. I’m sure you didn’t even know how much it meant to me. Blessings for the new year, Kathy

    • HI Kathy, thank you for writing and yes, it took me a moment to place your face in my spotty memory. I’m glad you found a new footing in Seattle and that you’re again bringing your loving kindness and professional expertise to bear on the dying and their loved ones.

      The haiku came as a special gift and reminder since I had to let go of the hospice job after 18 blissful months.

      p.s. Tracy McC RN and I are meeting for cafe tomorrow morning. small world!

  2. That is such a beautiful poem…there are always blessings around the corner….if we go there…


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