taking attendance ~ week 16

My word for 2016 is ATTEND.attending girl
Although I don’t think attending is a superpower, some days I wish it was. On those days, I think if one more person promises that he or she has the superpower to right all wrongs and save US from THEM, I daydream about sticking a pencil in my (or someone else’s) eye. On my better days, however, I choose to acknowledge that while I have no superpowers and am responsible TO the World – I’m not responsible FOR it. I’m responsible FOR my life and how I choose to live it.

To that end, I will attend to what and whom I can. And I’ll remember that I don’t have to attend every argument, drama or political whack-o-doodleness to which I’m invited. Each Sunday (except for the break I took, during Lent), I’ll share something here – an image, a poem, a song or maybe even a story that’s helped me attend to what I can that week.

A friend and teacher of mine, Joe Zaratonello (of Loose Leaf Hollow) recently shared a poem of his. It’s about ATTENDing to the lens through which we see the world. I’ve returned to it so often lately. So I wanted to share it with y’all.


All of us stumble through life wearing multiple pairs of glasses,

one on top of the other. Rose colored glasses. Ray-Bans.

Old glasses. Other people’s glasses that were never ours at all.

Glasses that say, “There’s something wrong with you.”

Or glasses that whisper, “I bet they won’t like me?”

And then there’s the glasses of judgment, hope, fear,
shame, or anger. I’ve worn all those pairs of glasses

and many more, one on top of the other, most of my life.

No wonder that there’s so much confusion?

No wonder that there’s so much suffering?

The contemplative path encourages all of us
to take off our glasses, pair by pair,

and look carefully at them–not through them.

To stop looking through the glasses of fear
and look at them, and ask yourself,

“What is this fear?”

To stop looking through the glasses of shame,
and look at them, and ask yourself,

“What is this shame?”

And so on, peeling off each pair of glasses
and no longer looking through them,

but instead, in contemplation, looking at them.

How many pairs of glasses are you wearing?
Nobody knows for sure.
But all the contemplative traditions agree
that underneath all those pairs of glasses, you’ll discover
the 20/20 vision of the Buddha and all the saints and sages.

What kind of ATTENDING have you witnessed/experienced this week?

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