GOOD BONES

January 1, 2017

 

This Maggie Smith poem is my resolution. I really have not put much effort into resolutions this year even though I said I would. I mean, I want the standard things: I want to be fitter, prettier, smarter, healthier, famous, internationally famous, own a vintage jag, eat more caviar, and the list goes on. But this poem, this poem caps the year off at the most simple thing: be kind. 

First, I want to be more kind to myself. You always put your own oxygen mask on first. Next I want to be more kind to the people around me--unless they're customers at the restaurant. Being kind also has this wonderful quality of vagueness. Like what that means can change from person to person, moment to moment. 

However, sometimes I have made the mistake of  assuming kindness means giving people what I think they want. Gotta quit it. Giving people what you think they want is presumptuous and always puts you in a position of physical or emotional power. Instead, this year, I will turn that into a practice of listening and asking. 

That's actually what I want from everyone in all moments of interaction: a genuine exchange of listening and asking. Imagine that we are living in this world and we must redecorate it, and we must. Let's redecorate it into a sitting room, two steaming mugs, and more books. 

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Vulgar, bike riding, record slinging, book reading poet with a passion for pool and the Midwest. 

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