“Call me by my true names”…Ýou are invited to sit down at a quiet place, maybe with a cup of tea and a candle and read this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh.

When in October ’12 Max, my art instructor for one week (though it seemed like a new era and much more than a week actually), read this Poem on our last day of the painting Seminar, it just touched me deeply. Maybe on a day when those sad News from Boston, this wonderful, wonderful City I so love, arrive, it is particularly important to be aware of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the “Interbeing”.

I hope, dear reader, you might be moved by this Poem – at least a bit.

 

Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river, and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate, and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands, and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people, dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life. My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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