A “meditation” poem to share (and a big ‘thank you’ to meditation friends Bob P. and Virginia T. for sending it my way).
If you’re thinking, “I’m not a poetry person” then this poem is perfect for you. It’s a first-person story about the author, who is caught in a longstanding and irreconcilable conflict. On one side is the author’s brain, always anxious about future disasters. On the other, the author’s sad heart, forever filled with regret. The author’s brain and heart “divorced a decade ago” and, for all practical purposes, refuse to deal with one another. The only path of comfort available to the miserable author is to avoid them both and hang out in the gut. Until one day … the gut makes a suggestion.
What makes this poem work is not just the all-too-familiar brain-heart conflict and the despair it generates, but the humor that percolates from top to bottom. The characters in this poem, an author, a brain, a heart, and so on, are just right for a funny cartoon, or maybe, an entire comic book. Humor is leavened by the author’s encounter with the deeply compassionate and wise gut. Don’t we all wish we had a friend like this? On first reading, the gut’s suggestion looks like an escape, a way out, but – spoiler alert – it is actually a way in.
Here is how the poem begins (you can find the entire poem online at youtube):
my brain andfrom The Anatomy of Peace by John Roedel
a decade ago
over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become
they couldn’t be
in the same room
with each other …