While cleaning out and reconfiguring my studio, I found a gift I received for my nursing school graduation. My amazingly talented friend Diane printed and watercolored a poem on a giant piece of paper:
now we will count to twelve
and we will keep still
for once, on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language, let’s stop for one second and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment, without push, without engines;
we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen on the sea would not harm whales,
and men gathering salt would look at their hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors would put on clean clothes and walk
with their brothers, in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused with total inactivity. Life is what it’s about
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves, and threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead, and later prooves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.