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Favorite Poem

 Sometimes I think the whole purpose of writing, art, life and other related stuff is this simple: Be present. Maybe I'm just a big old hippy. Still, I like being reminded of that and this poem by William Stafford does the trick. The poem also means a lot to me because a wonderful poet friend, Don Colburn, who studied under Stafford, gave me a lovely printed version of the poem which I keep on my desk. More effective than "Be Here Now," easier than meditating and -- bonus! -- totally legal unlike certain drugs which have been known to induce similar feelings.   You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air? Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts? When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life - What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around? 
~ William Stafford ~ 

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Another Will

Greetings, Vivian.

Thank you for this poem (and for your comment on my selection -- the other William S.). Living in the present is a worthy goal. Because I write a fair bit about travel, I sometimes get asked to talk about getting ready for travel, and one of the pieces of advice I always give is, "Look at everything now; experience where you are now. If you wait until you get on the plane, it's too late." I do find that living in the present makes everything richer. If you really learn how to soak in everything around you, you will carry that skill wherever you go.

"What can anyone give you greater than now" -- indeed.


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All of our past is with us,

All of our past is with us, especially when we are present.

So nice, Vivian, that a friend gave you that poem - seems to make it more wonderful.