105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Don’t Give Up

This week my continual bad timing is wearing me down. Yesterday at work I went into a measured diatribe at our staff meeting about the unfairness of new scheduling norms for part-time employees, knowing that if these guidelines are put into place, I will not be able to take a job back at the library that I love. A position, I should say, that I chose in order to reduce my hours for a few years, but that put me on the chopping block when budget cuts came. Also, an important deal may fall through because someone else beat me to it, after the first bit of real luck — preparation meets opportunity — I can remember having. Of course, there’s the taxes, where I lose money in the only year a deduction isn’t allowed. Today, the last straw was finding that I immediately threw out the receipt — when I never toss receipts — for a broken birthday present. And that’s this week.

Yesterday, at Facebook, I asked why I am out of sync with the universe. My friend suggested a conversation with the creator of said universe. A beautiful statement, but how to have the dialogue when I’m feeling so closed and unquiet? Maybe start with poetry, particularly from Inspiration Peak.
Don’t Give Up
by Ron Atchison

Listen closely and you can hear them...
the great spirits of every tribe
the ones who were here before us.
Listen to what they are saying.
There is one who calls himself Gandhi
and another who calls himself King.
They know that the way is not easy.
There is a woman named Teresa.
and many who are simply known as
Grandmothers and Grandfathers
and all of them whisper into our ear...
“Don’t give up,” they tell us...
“Don’t become cynical...”
“Take one more step...”
“There is a reason...”
I know that my struggles aren’t those of Gandhi, King and Mother Teresa. But it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder that there is a reason — or that one should listen closely.

Poetry Friday is hosted today at Becky’s Book Reviews. Also, Wild Rose Reader has been doing an amazing job of rounding up the week in poetry, including interviews, reviews, quotes, and poems. It’s a wonderful resource for weekend reading.


Anonymous said...

I often have a hard time keeping my life in perspective with all the real suffering going on in the world. Thank you for this lovely reminder.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Don't give up
Just hold on
joy is coming...

Sara said...

My sympathies for your string of yucky days. Maybe the universe should sync its watch to MR time!!

One more step, though. That's all we ever need do. Hugs to you as you work through all this.

tanita✿davis said...

Oh, I'd hoped that statement didn't come across to you as flippant -- sometimes those things do, no matter how true they might be.

Your poem inspires me, so here's inspiration in return from Washington state poet laureate Sam Green, from his 2001-2002 collection called Daily Practice. He writes tiny poems in almost a diary form, and this one says it all.
Oct. 12 Anacortes

Downtown, main street
a hawk hangs on a wire,
leaning against the wind,
feathers fanning. Sometimes
there is nothing to do
but hold on.
One more step. Don't give up. Hold on.

Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast said...

Hang in there, Pam. There's light up there ahead somewhere. Here's a snippit of Zorgamazoo to embolden you:

“Now, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win,
but my Pop always told me: You never give in!
And if he were here now, I know what he’d say:
Morty, my son, when you’re caught in a fray,

or your travels are tough and the going is rough,
or you’re up to your neck in the slippery stuff,
or say some old robots are on the attack,
then I tell you, my son: You start fighting back!”

Keep on keeping on.

I'll be thinking of you,

susan said...

Do hang in there. Great choice.

Mary Lee said...

Two quotes from the many above my desk:

"The greater the obstacle,
the more glory in overcoming it." --Moliere

"All you can do is
all you can do.
And all you can do
is enough." -- Art Williams

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think it's the smaller things that wear a person down more. I mean, if a true, big injustice is going on, I can find some energy in indignation. Procedure and taxes and receipts are the sort of things that just make me want to take a nap so I don't have to think about them anymore.

I hope things turn a little brighter for you soon. Maybe today?

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

Thank you for your heartfelt post. I, too, have had a string of hard days that have lead to sleepless nights and soul searching. I love the poem you included, and the comments it inspired. You're right - hold on, don't give up. Persevere.

Good luck figuring your way out, and keep writing. There are many of us who appreciate your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Don't give up.

"If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come." -- Chinese proverb

Saints and Spinners said...

These things seem to come in clumps so often. I hope that you get a bit of good news soon that helps you find balance again. Just so you know, posts like these help me a lot, because so often I think, "Wow, MotherReader has it all figured out" even though I should know better than to judge my insides by other people's outsides.

Big hugs from the other side of the country.

Sherrie Petersen said...

What a great poem. Thanks for sharing that. BTW, I have an award for you at my blog...