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6675"What you are looking for is who is looking." St. Francis of Assisi

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  • Mary
    May 3, 2003
      Please Call Me By My True Names - Thich Nhat Hanh

      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 in 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 water of a 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 12-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 hand,
      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 is like a river of tears, so full it
      fills up the four oceans.

      Please call me by my true names,
      so I can hear all my cries and my 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.

      Thick Nhat Hanh
      Vietnamese Buddhist Monk,
      author of many books including "Peace is Every Step",
      Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.