Monday, June 14, 2021

Choosing a Profession

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. 


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