Since I’ve announced a 70th birthday party, I remembered that I used the occasion of the 60th to read some poems I’ve written. I’ve considered publishing some of my poetry from over the years, but it doesn’t seem likely, so it felt good to read them on that occasion. And so tonight I dipped into the folder searching for some that I might read for my 70th and found this one from 6 years ago that has promise, but needs some work. But “good enough” for a blog post. And here it is:
Choosing a Profession
Be a carpenter of the soul
and build a shelter for your longing.
Be a plumber of the heart
and flush down the clogged pipes of your wounds and hurts.
Be an electrician of the mind
and connect the brain’s neurocircuitry until you light up
like a Christmas tree.
Be a stern judge of your own crimes
and banish your greed and vanity and smallness to the dungeon.
Be a compassionate judge of your own self-judgment
and declare yourself innocent of the guilt others heap on you.
Be a musician of the spirit
and strum the strings that send you soaring
beat the drums that set you dancing.
Be an artist of your genius
and paint the self-portrait that looks like no one else
and yet is everyone else.
Be a doctor of your failings
and diagnose the symptoms in time for healing.
Your job training is in every waking moment.
Your diploma is a peaceful heart.
Your retirement benefits are the heaven you’ve made for yourself
By living well.