Risky Paths

cross2 OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

It is okay to see the risk

And not step

Fully

Into it.

Courage does not always

Mean

Precarious

Heaving ho.

Perilous paths

Indeed at times

Need forging,

But aren’t

All

Tests of

True bravery,

When often enough

The careful way

Around

Is a daring

Opportunity.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Sorrow and Hope

Red AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Like pebbles on the beach

Like grains of sand

Like leaves upon the trees

Like flowers in a meadow

May we never be alone

In sorrow

And in hope.

May we find solace

In each other

And may compassion

Weave heart strands together

So we remember

How alike we are

Each one its own true flower

Each one part of the whole

In sorrow

And in hope.

 

 

For The Daily Post

A Tribute in Light

Tribute in Light DOD public domain

Tribute in Light — Photo: DOD

 

On the eve of 9/11

In this city that has been forever changed

As it had its core humanity

Revealed

In uncountable acts of kindness

Under devastation,

I revisit

The day

The sky grew dark

With smoke

And hearts broke open

With compassion.

 

 

For more information on tomorrow night’s Tribute in Light

For the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Overcome

butterfly2 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

As change and challenge come

And you are stretched

Beyond what seems possible

To overcome,

Recall

How transformation

Can become

Its own journey

To an unexpected

Outcome.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

In The Balance

cupped AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

As tensions hold

The edge

Between manageable

And overwhelmed,

Between spared

And flooded,

Be tender.

As scales tip

To potentiate

Disaster

And fluctuate

From safe

To calamitous,

Be kind.

Remember how

Critical times

Hold within them

The balance

Of rebuilding

On the fabric of

Strength

And profound

Understanding.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Soul of Soil

10668763_10152350548116304_6761313813944716448_o

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Do not soil the soul of soil

With harm

And hatred.

Do not foul the loam of life

By sowing death.

Walk gently on the earth

That holds the lot of us.

All water that flows on

And under

Has flown everywhere

Before

Belongs to no one

More.

Do not soil the soul of soil

With war.

It is unholy.

Antithetical

To growth.

It stains all harvest

Red

With tears

And broken hearts.

Enriches only

Pain

And sorrow’s scars.

True stewardship

Demands

We find

Uphold

Maintain

A common ground.

 

 

For The Daily Post

“A Case of Constant Disastering”

Geiger Counter

What upsets your cart? What throws you off? What drains your battery of oomph and energy? Do you get riled up in a flash but calm down glacially? Do you struggle to maintain the smallest bit of equilibrium while others seem to swim in zen-like Flow? Have you been told off for “over-reacting” and being “overly sensitive”? Does it, indeed, seem to be that e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is just too much to process, let alone appreciate and thrive in?

That is how life is for a teenager I know.

She calls herself “a case of constant disastering.”

Her days are spent in never ending rush to keep up with assignments that don’t get done because she is too stressed to focus on them because she already worries she won’t manage and then doesn’t. She feels mired in conflict with her parents who she says don’t understand why “every little thing” throws her off. She struggles to attend to all the balls she perceives are in the air and thinks are hers to juggle (only to find out later some were not, and that she’d dropped the very ones she shouldn’t have) …

Her body swings from all out anxious to shutdown and molasses-like, weighed down by overwhelm. She blames herself for both, which only feeds the shame that feeds the stress that feeds more “constant disaster.”

She hates this about herself. She wishes to be someone different.

“I wish I could be stoic,” she says. “Strong, you know.”

“But you are strong,” I respond.

She shrugs. She knows. Some days more than others.

She understand how her body’s calibrations had gotten to be quite so delicate: born very prematurely and with serious medical issues that required many painful interventions, her nervous system (and psyche) could not really process the overwhelming stimuli she was exposed to. Her reactions still mirror some of the pathways that became the foundation of her default. Of her survival formation. Her parents, too, were terrified and anxious. Oh, they did their best in love and caring, but they, too, were scared. For her. For her future. Of hurting her. Of disconnecting something. Of something worse than disastrous.

Panic was real and tangible. Babies in that NICU die. She almost did. Twice.

They were all of them scared. Much of the time.

Is it a wonder, then, that life wobbles precariously tentative, at the smallest reminder?

“But I’m not a baby anymore,” she points at lanky limbs that have long ago outgrown any crib or incubator.

“I know,” I smile.

“Now I’m just a Geiger meter,” she complains, “and my body beeps ballistic at the smallest variation.”

“Tricky,” I nod. “Also … kind of skillful.”

She pouts, but then a smile pushes a small corner of her mouth and the other corner joins in and she grins, eyes atwinkle. “Yeah, like a full-on skill at constant disastering.”

 

For The Daily Post

Grit of Will

up up and away

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

They don’t give up.

They push on, they keep trying.

For the plainest of skills.

Simple tasks need endurance:

Every sentence’s a summit

Every speech sound’s a triumph of will.

Such tenacious young children

Built of grit and forbearance

Marathoners of life’s endless sprints

All uphill.

Oh, how deeply they teach me

The depth of true mettle

In courage, in hope to succeed.

Their indomitable spirit

Forms a marvel:

Pure resolve wrought from steel.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Cringe Detector

Outlawed Hope

“…None of anything is half nearly as organized as you’d want it to be, Aimee.  … In the end, child … all that matters is what your own skin and neck hairs tell you.”

“My skin and neck hairs?”

She chuckled. “And your gut, while we’re at it. Think of that Watchman who was up to no good in a hurry. How did he make you feel, not only in your head with thoughts or worries but in your body?”

“He made my skin crawl. … ” Her meaning dawned on me. “Oh, and I felt the hair on the back of my neck standing on end, and my belly flopped all frightened.”

“Exactly!” she smiled. “I knew those Matrons could maybe get you to obeying and to keeping your tongue quiet—not that anyone would know it now, from all your chattering—but they did not manage to squelch your instincts for detecting the real kind of wrongness. If you follow clues already in your body, you’ll see through titles and claimed importance. Just make sure you follow your body’s signaling and steer away from those who get your sensors to this kind of itching. Nothing but trouble in those people, and no amount of reasoning will make it worthy.”

(Excerpt, Outlawed Hope)

 

 

For The Daily Post

When I Grow Up

“When I grow up,” she said, small face determined, adamant, “I will make sure no one is hungry and no one feels lonely for a hug.”

(S.J. age 5)

determination
Photo: Pinterest, Kay Anderson

 

 

For The Daily Post