Your gifts are shy,
and stand behind you,
like a child peeking out
from mommy’s leg.
But you already know that.
You’ve seen it a thousand times
as you tucked and buried them
wondering what was wrong with you.
It wasn’t you. Gifts are bashful.
Most live hidden, and die
in alleys or crumble into broken stones.
What to do?
How to entice them to open the sliding door
and step out?
A mad love for the thing itself
is the best remedy that’s been discovered
a love so wild you are willing to step
into the middle of a circle and dance.
You won’t know if the witnesses around you
are the neighbors
or the world
or just the critics from within
but you’ll go there
for the feeling of your foot sanding the floor,
for the flight in your chest when you jump.
That’s the best prescription:
a kind of foolery, a mad love.
But what if the fear has won out, you ask?
First, sink down to the floor and kiss
Fall like someone has just
popped the balloon of you.
Then hug yourself into stillness.
Know that, sweetie, it will be alright.
Next build a fort in your bedroom,
a soft and covered spaced.
Pitch blankets, prop pillows,
bring a firefly inside for light.
Then take it out, whatever it is
your flute or your pen or your clay,
and say your prayer of thank you
for this everything: vessel for your thoughts,
ceaseless companion, adventure-bringer, peace song.
Then take the question, Is it good or not?
and send it to the river to fish.
Let it catch you dinner while you work.
You are not making to be good.
You are making because
it is the great romance of your life.
Then make something. A little thing.
Look at how it loves you
how it woke up the earth to you
and gave you the life-heart back
how the days are growing long again, as in childhood,
as if time is being given back to you
as you learn how your soul wants to fill it.
– Tara Mohr
photo credit: Etienne Boulanger