To A Friend


Only this morning
I read something about gratitude.
It seems as if consciously looking
for things to be grateful for
in our present moment

may be a kind of pass key
if not a magic key
that can unlock us
and free us
from negative emotions

replacing them with acceptance
peace, calm, even happiness
or a reawakened joy in being.
O, to be able to remember this
especially when I need it most!

Reading your words here
and reflecting on them
it occurred to me
that sensitivity/insensitivity
is intimately linked to mindfulness.

Much insensitivity arises
not from deliberate malice
but simply from an unexamined habit
of not leaving quiet spaces
within the mind

to observe the surroundings
both external and internal.
You yourself appear to me
to frequently live within
just that sort of space.

Is there not in fact a reciprocity
whereby any given group
even a very small one
influences its members and is in turn
influenced by its co-creators?

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Poetry, Prose With Pretensions, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. A good reminder. I think it’s very important to both actively remember things to be grateful for, and equally important to make sure there is enough quiet space in your mind to allow you to do that.


  2. something to meditate on..truly thought provoking.


  3. Great message, deeply insightful!


  4. Meanest grows and festers into cruelty. But we should always treat mean with kind. Great writing as always.


    • Thank you kindly. It one is willing to look into the true roots of that cruelty can be deeply instructive. Have you seen that old film “12 Angry Men”?


      • Yes the old one and the new. They just assumed he was guilty and were going to convict him because they were uncomfortable. I like the older one more. There’s a movie with James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall A Family Thing. They were brothers of the same mother and they had to come to terms with that. The grandmother was blind. When Jones character said but he’s white. The grandmother said she didn’t have the luxury of judging people by their looks. She had to see inside the heart of a person and this is how we all should see. Good movie.


  5. We are often too busy, in a rush, to stop and smell the roses, to notice how others react to us and to be mindful in all that we do.


    • This is now so embedded into the desirable contemporary lifestyle. People are so close to it they are only aware of a certain obstinate discomfort but often do not explore what might be engendering it. Later, perhaps, if only they can find the time …


  6. At the college I greet everyone I meet with a smile and a greeting. When I first started that practice several years ago, the students thought I must be running for office, an unlikely scenario on the Navajo Reservation. Pretty soon, though, everyone knew my name and people started to smile and greet me whenever they saw me. The surveys of students before I started seem to suggest that the campus was not the friendliest of places. These days the surveys suggest that the campus is a friendly place to be. Funny how that works. In this poem, as in many Ben Naga poems, wisdom is laid out like a stone bare beneath the sun.


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