Sunday, October 23, 2011

How You Stand is Important

Oct. 23, 2011

Dear friends,

She cast a patrician shadow even from her wheel chair. No one who encountered her keen glance doubted the active intelligence that shaped her sharp appraisal of the world around her.

Her hands could no longer obey that mind’s commands, however. They trembled. They dropped her napkin. Her uncertain spoon spilled pudding on her bib. And when she attempted to lift her glass of milk, her shaking hand overturned the glass on her tray.

Those sharp old eyes did not miss the irritation that just for an instant crossed the aide’s face as she glanced down at the puddle of milk spreading from tray to blanket to floor.

Without hesitation, the woman spoke directly into the anger with which she was confronted.

“Young woman,” she said. “Sometimes it takes a great deal of courage to spill a glass of milk.”

In “Being a Person,” William Stafford wrote,

How you stand here is important. How you
Listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.

Thinking with you how to stand, how to listen and breathe so that I respect courage whatever its face.

See you next week.


See William Stafford, "Being a Person," Even in Quiet Places (Confluence Press, Lewiston,Idaho, l996). P.89.

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