What If

What do you do

when you love someone so much

but you don’t know how to tell them

so that they truly hear it?


What if that person is yourself?


August 26, 2016


Whatever comes naturally–

that is the “right” thing

that is the “wrong” thing

well, it’s just a “thing.”

Perhaps it’s “nothing.”

This feeling of trying

to reach out and grasp

an answer out of thin air

I’ve been chasing it

for a long, long time,

but not as long as I have been

breathing, kicking, speaking

these “things” we advocate for

and believe in are just “no things”

living and dying and rising

and settling for rather than loving

“Trust me,” says the wind,

“Listen,” says the water,

“You’re here!” says the bird.

Meditate on that.

Find your passion.

Be the passion

that allows you to be.


July 20, 2016

A Lesson on Father’s Day: Listen and Love

For the first time in what feels like a while, I am taking a break from poetry for this lovely Sunday.

I am currently reading an appropriately enlightening book (one that many of you might already know), Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. From what I have taken away from the book so far, Eckhart’s main idea is that we all, as humans, have grown to identify ourselves with our minds. Our identities are thus formulated around time: the mind depends on time to function, the idea that we have a past behind us and a future in front of us. The problem with this, however, is that the past and future do not truly exist. Our minds wind up thinking too much about something that is not real, instead of focusing on the Being in each of us, the only thing that is real: the “now.”

This book is important to me, if not for any other reason than for putting into words a feeling that I have had much of my life, the same feeling that has escaped me for quite some time. If you were to find a mirror right now, stand or sit in front of it for more than a minute, and just stare at yourself, absent of thought or surrounding noise, what would you see? Would your brain register the image as you, meaning “Michael” or “Mary” or “John”? Would you feel that name and your “story,” your past and future self, is the real “you”? I used to do this growing up, most times accidentally, and I would, after a while, say my name to myself. I would repeat it over and over. And yet it did not stick. The name had no meaning– if anything, it made me truly question, “Who is Reaching Joy*? She is not real.”

It didn’t feel like me; but it was a good feeling. I felt like I was much more than just my name, my story. I was, my identity was based upon, the simple feeling of being alive. I felt connected to a force much bigger than myself, a force that held more truth than the identities we carry with us day to day.

It was a unique feeling, indeed, to experience growing up. I once tried to explain the experience to my friend in college and she looked at me like I was crazy. I do not blame her. But now, reading Tolle’s book, I can see and begin to understand what I was experiencing. Was it a form of “spiritual enlightenment,” as he describes it? I am not sure. But I do know one thing: the one thing that I have always believed in is that we do not know anything in this life. Tolle’s book has now let me in on a second thing I truly believe in: listening.

When we listen to others, to the world around us, to our own selves, we tap into something much more meaningful and truthful than anything we could speak verbally or inwardly through thought. To truly listen means to quiet everything: the mind, judgement, the notion of time. If we really know nothing as human beings– as I believe– listening allows us to observe our world and experience it for what it is, not for what our perception makes it out to be. If there is a truth to be found in this world, listening is the way to it.

Oh, and I do believe in love– a love that connects our experiences to each other and everything around us. Love and listening: they are what I want to be the center of my life. Thank you, Tolle, for teaching me this.

What do you think of Tolle’s message? And what is the center of your life?

*I substituted my real name for my blog name, naturally

Listen; Love

I can listen with my skin

as well as my ears,

see the stars with my pores

leaking the magic of, “I wonder

how long it will be until humans

realize they can fly?”


I’ll walk down, too.


My mind sighs to the moon

wishing that the mess in the chaos

wasn’t so easy to side with,

easing away beauty: its twilight brother.


If we are one under the same sun

do not judge me by my pigment,

make a predicament out of my future

calling me back to a place

where time was slow,

race was none,

and love was all

one listened for,

at night.


March 19, 2015