The Art of Disappearing

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The Art of Disappearing

Post by Ogyen » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:22 pm

The Art of Disappearing
By Naomi Shahib Nye

When they say, “Don’t I know you?”
Say “no”.
When they invite you to the party
Remember what parties are like
Before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
They once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.
If they say we should get together
Say “why?”
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you at the grocery store
Nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
Appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: The Art of Disappearing

Post by Lazy_eye » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:39 am

I don't know if Naomi Shihab Nye is a practicing Buddhist but there's a lot of dharma in this poem! Think I learned more about renunciation from these thirty-odd lines than from hundreds of forum posts on the topic.

I like her direct, plainspoken style - very hard to pull off. Takes real mastery to be able to write with a minimum of artifice and yet have the words resonate.

Thanks for posting this, Ogyen!

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