Thursday, March 10, 2005

Rise, Fall -- and Rise Again

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Thank you, Rabbi Twerski, for today's words of wisdom:

A just person may fall seven times and rise (Proverbs 24:16).

Although we may have realized that we learn our most valuable lessons the hard way, and that therefore we may tolerate our mistakes because of their educational value, we are apt to be intolerant of a mistake that we repeat. "I should have known better from last time," one says.

We should stop berating ourselves. Some lessons are not learned so easily, even from experience. The reason? We may understand something with our intellect, yet it may not have filtered down into our hearts and bones and muscles. In other words, if we lack an emotional grasp of a concept, the intellectual awareness alone may not suffice to deter us from repeating a mistake.

We are human. Rather than blame ourselves for a repetitive mistake, we should realize that the anguish we feel when we have failed to learn from a previous experience might just give us the emotional insight that can prevent that same mistake in the future.

In fact, new mistakes can shed light on old mistakes. When we do something wrong once, we may make only a superficial repair. Soon afterwards, in a different situation, we again fall flat. We may continue to fall until we realize that all our failures point to a flaw in ourselves that we had never noticed. Once we have uncovered the real reason for our mistakes, we can correct it and greatly, genuinely improve ourselves.

Poetry in Mo...o...o...o...tion

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On one of the blogs that I like to read, Jack's Shack, Jack posts snippets of fiction-in-progress. So I decided this morning to take his example and post a poem that I started to write last night -- ahem, I mean this morning at about 12:10. But I had to stop because I was literally falling asleep at the wheel -- keyboard -- as I was typing. So here, for your reading pleasure, is the start of "The Face in the Window."

The Face in the Window

It is midnight, and I am doing a final walkabout in the house.
Picking up forgotten books, straightening sofa pillows, securing the dog for the night.
I look in on my dear children, fast asleep in their beds,
a sliver of moon peering down upon them through a crack between window and window shade,
a crease of light
haloing the heads
of these little treasures as they sigh in their sleep.

I lock the front door, then glance out the beveled side window at the snow beyond.
The yellowish light in front of the house casts a warm glow, beckoning me out of doors.
But I cannot wander out, although it might be nice to pirouette on the front lawn amidst the white down feather blanket of snow.