Tuesday, November 03, 2009

For Jay

This poem has been following me around everywhere I go lately.  Given to me years ago by my Grandma, I've always loved it, but lately I have been seeing it in the strangest of places.  

Last week I lost a very dear friend of 25 years, and grief is a strange beast...we look for ways to comfort ourselves and make sense of our lives and, to me, this poem is the most basic of sentiment to live life by.  

-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s -- 

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Laloofah said...

I don't know how I missed seeing this post till now. I'm sorry to read that you lost a long-time friend recently. {{{Comforting hug}}}

How interesting... I, too, first learned "Desiderata" from my grandmother, and have had it amongst my favorites since I was a teenager. (Quite recently, actually... lol). Here's another place you'll find it... on my ancient and totally neglected, in-desperate-need-of-updating homepage (long before the days of blogs, oh my!)... Desiderata

Thinking of you, as always...

Tracy R said...

I am told this is the daily Catholic high school morning prayer.

It's a great way to live