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100 Days of Gladness: Day 23

NaPoWriMo*: “We Have Choices — An Imagination Game”

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We have choices.

The minute we open our eyes, there’s a default mode.

And. There are a million other modes, if we would only

WD-40 the hinges of our consciousnessand open to them.

The light turns green and the guy behind us honks.

Option 1: (Asshole. Are you kidding me? What the f — )

Option 2: His wife is in labor and has to get to the hospital.

Option 3: He leaned over to pick up something up and his shoulder hit the horn.

A woman coughs all through the Broadway show.

Option 1: (Oh my God, go back to the lobby! Take a lozenge. Do something!)

Option 2: She’s dying. It’s her last day on earth. It's opening night, and her son is in the show.

Option 3: I am in training as an undercover bodhisattva. This is an assignment in the patience module.

A neighbor passes me every day, never returns my hello, never smiles.

Option 1: (What is your problem? You scared of lesbians?)

Option 2: She wants to make contact, but suffers from crippling shyness.

Option 3: She is dealing with unimaginable pain in her life, and the neighborhood walk is all she can do to process it. She has nothing extra to work with.

We don’t know what other people carry.

I say again: We don’t know what other people carry.

Even if the guy behind me in the car

has no wife, didn’t drop anything,

and is clinically diagnosed with assholery —

I still don’t know what small animal of yearning

was left to starve in him by his father.

Even if the coughing woman

is as healthy as a show horse,

and knows no one in the cast,

I still don’t know how her mother might have

taught her not to care, by not caring for her

at all.

And even if the neighbor

doesn’t want in any way to be civil,

I still don’t know why.

I don’t get to know why.

None of us do.

We only get to oil the hinges,

open the doors, and let the fresh wind of wonder

blow down our many houses of cards.

None of it is true anyway,

even the stuff we have proof for.

Leave room for the larger ‘What Is.’

Leave room for the invisible

invigorating breeze of everything

we will never know.


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