The Ten Thousand Nurtures
Nurture runs inside us like a stream.
Let’s let it out when another needs relief.
Let’s sing a moment in the midday rain.
Let’s draw each other baths.
Let’s stand strong upon the earth.
Let’s stand strong with each other.
Let’s stand strong for each other.
Let’s dive to the aid of those who have been harmed.
Let’s feel the earth and each other through our soles.
Let’s plant what we need, and build what we need, and enjoy the beauty of each.
Let’s consider what we need, and what each other needs.
Let’s allow ourselves to be and do whatever we need to, and others as well, and if that means stopping others from harming us or yet others, or attempting to, then that’s what we need to be and do.
Let’s allow hatred and intolerance to bounce off of us like small rubber balls, leaving only a sting, and wend their way down into gulleys where they’re eaten by the roots of trees.
Let’s allow our minds to not fear and to roam open and freely, and think variously, and not get stuck in one way of thinking.
Let’s allow our minds to think critically, to not be satisfied with one quick glance, to peruse, to consider facets, to turn stones, to question, to come to our own conclusions, and always be ready for those conclusions to change.
Let’s allow ourselves to change, to be fluid, to resist the petrifying consequence of age and oppression and pain, to remember the rain, let’s let ourselves see and see and see, and if it hurts us, so be it, and if it’s beautiful, so be it, everything changes us.
Let’s be kind to ourselves when we resist change, as it’s only a consequence of being mortal.
Let’s be less concerned with material things, when we can, as they tend to make us more rigid.
Let’s be less concerned with appearance as well, fun as it may be to play with and make play of, as it signifies differently to everyone and is a difficult language to bridge, and often comes in the way of human substance.
Let’s be honest with each other and with ourselves, whatever that means, which might mean say what you believe to be truthful, of course knowing what you actually believe at any given moment can take an awful lot of self-reflection at times, but at least we can try, we can effort what we can, and qualify expression of our truths to reflect that, to be as clear as possible, to let each other know where on the shifting sand we stand.
Let’s allow ourselves reflection and self-reflection as often as we can, our time is short and the world is vague and anything we do to parse through everything we see and sense and feel, and light for even a moment on what it might actually be, or seem to be, for even a moment, a glance, a wordless understanding, a speck of satori, a glimpse that makes sense and that we might be able to express, however haltingly, is the juice that gives us charge to see the more, and parse more, and help others to see and parse a tiny bit more.
Let’s listen to each other as often and fully as possible, without strain or resistance, letting in other perspectives unprejudged and ready.
Let’s shun all the ill effects of preconception so that we can listen more acutely.
Let’s listen to the streets, full and empty.
Let’s listen to rivers, which have their own language and may be the beginnings of human speech.
Let’s listen to rustling reeds.
Let’s listen to candlelight.
Let’s listen to the night.
Let’s reveal ourselves to each other, as scary as that might be, in order to become a greater being.
Let’s reveal ourselves to ourselves, insofar as we can.
Let’s hold hands once in a while.
Let’s cook for each other, share our food and foods, enjoy repast, break fast, and nourish.
Let’s share our flavors and scents and sounds, imbue ourselves with those of others and offer ours for their imbuement, let’s give ourselves to saturation.
Let’s share our colors and fabrics, let them become us, become fabric.
Let’s become ourselves, and let’s become each other, let’s hone and intermix.
Let’s become everything.
Let’s talk about everything and everything and everything, let’s expand our circles, let’s welcome other circles and let them welcome us, let’s expand our circles large and small, let’s become part of many circles, let’s allow ourselves to feel whatever connections we can, let’s identify with many circles small and large, let’s make our identities more complex.
Let’s let ourselves become more.
Let’s live in circles small and large that are founded in acceptance and compassion.
Let’s be compassionate.
Let’s be compassionate even when it’s really fucking difficult.
Let’s gaze into each other’s eyes, whatever our affinities or differences.
Let’s reach out whenever we can, reach beyond ourselves, let’s remember that while we are ourselves we are others as well, we extend beyond ourselves, we are also we and we extend even beyond we, we are more than we can know and sense.
And let’s let go of ourselves as well, at least once in a while, in big moments and small, let’s dwell outside ourselves at times so that we can know and sense differently, more broadly, and gain a better sense perhaps of what we are, or might be, what everything might be.
Let’s have time alone, and with another, and with several, and with many, and time alone again.
Let’s sit on mountains and breathe and smile.
Let’s sit by the sea and breathe and smile.
Let’s sit in vast grassland and breathe and smile.
Let’s sit in the forest, very quietly, and breathe and smile.
Let’s sit in a crowded room and breathe and smile.
Let’s breathe and smile.
Let’s wake in the morning and treat ourselves well.
Let’s meet the day with kindness in first breath and first beam of light, even if circumstance is not kind, perhaps especially then.
Let’s meet difficulty with calm, and chaos with a steady mind.
Let’s break fast with jubilance and grace, even an old crust and dry egg are miracles.
Let’s enjoy a glass of water with every waking cell.
Let’s move through our days with thoughtfulness, it’s a lot to ask but it builds, in itself and of itself and on itself, it builds and strengthens and can be self-sustaining.
Let’s foster thoughtfulness, and allow thoughtfulness to foster us.
Let’s take thoughtfulness as nourishment.
Let’s recognize and celebrate all that nourishes.
Let’s celebrate our food and drink as nourishment, which of course we do, but perhaps not always, the proteins and the grains and the roots and the beautiful greens, but also that which brings us pleasure aside from sustenance, the sugars and the bitters and the piquant.
Let’s welcome our pleasures and our senses as nourishment.
Let’s celebrate taste as nourishment, all tastes, even those which seem disagreeable, for they might have hidden properties.
Let’s celebrate scent as nourishment, partner to taste and connection to the primal brain.
Let’s celebrate sound as nourishment, the musics, the voices, the cacophony of all things, and, most essential, the silence.
Let’s celebrate seeing as nourishment, in whatever ways we see, through our eyes, through our minds, through our living field.
And let’s celebrate touch as nourishment, in all its forms, the sense that suggests both bounds and boundlessness of body, through which we know ourselves to be permeable as we seep into the world and into each other and merge with all things of energy.
Let’s celebrate sex as nourishment, however we might practice, and allow and welcome our attractions of all kinds, shunning only those which might cause harm, for all others let’s let them flow in and out of us, every attraction is a fetish (most beautiful word) from most common to most obscure, let’s seek each other out and share, with partners and strangers and whomever we need, let’s express our fetishes and take great fucking joy.
Let’s welcome vulnerability and intimacy, the letting-go that only makes us stronger.
Let’s welcome comfort, both that which bolsters and that which heals, and offer it freely to others.
Let’s comfort each other whenever we can, for any reason, especially when others are in need.
Let’s comfort each other without question in times of violence, oppression, or stress.
Let’s comfort each other even in mild times.
Let’s create comfort, both to make life easier and to balance any discomfort we create while stumbling through our lives.
Let’s recognize that we each enact violence of some sort every day, often small but sometimes less so.
And when we do, let’s each give ourselves a moment of critical reflection, then a moment of kindness, before addressing that violence in ourselves and toward those it has affected.
These and many others are acts of nurture, and we are its stream, if we let ourselves be, vital force carving gently through rock formed by others and the world and into the charged sea of life.
~ ~ ~
ANNOUNCE :: It’s risky to propose that a coming year will be better than the last, divided by a random day in a world of turmoil, but less so to walk into that year with a full heart and steady stride. And toward that end, I offer the passage above, written as a complement to my post last month, “The Ten Thousand Violences“, but also as a mantra of sorts, a tiny song that hopes to lift and bolster the human spirit. Besides, I just needed to write the damn thing. Like its companion, it doesn’t pretend to list every type of nurture, or even come close, is rather a compendium that arrives from my heart at the moment. I may also add and edit to it as time goes on, and so may you! Comments and additions are welcomed. That said, here it is fresh, for you, for me, for all of us. I hope it does an iota of good for someone.
ANNOUNCE :: I’ve added a new page to this website, Poetea, which can be found under the Events page. On a pc you can get to it by hovering the cursor over “Events” in the main menu, and on phone or tablet it should pop up as an option by just touching or holding on “Events”. It’s a list of all the Poeteas I’ve had, my small monthly gathering of writers for tea and conversation, along with the Facebook posts I’ve written about each one.
ANNOUNCE :: I have a surgery scheduled for January 22 to finally fix my painful elbow, which will likely leave me unable to use my right arm or hand for a couple of weeks. I’m sure it’ll go fine, but I might not be responsive to emails or messaging during that time. And Mom’s coming out to help me through the first week of it, and to make sure I’m comfy and well fed. So don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be extra typey and talky and dancey and smiley and arm-wavey just as soon as I’m fiddle fit.
Best wishes for full hearts and steady stride for all!