It Has Grown On Me

January Rose in London, by Jaime

Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself
as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
are life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.


I found this poem among my papers this evening. It has grown on me! Thanks to who ever it was who sent me it originally.

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5 thoughts on “It Has Grown On Me”

  1. Thanks for the poem. It really hit the right spot this morning. We visited my parents since my Mom is living with terminal cancer and I had been feeling a bit strange. The time was really good together, especially since there had been many difficult years with our relationships, and there were touching moments. My Mom walked through the house, her oxygen tube dragging behind her, showing me all the pictures she had painted and then asking me which ones I would like. A moment of giving and connecting. Since we left, I have felt a bit bad that I do not feel totally sad…I actually feel quite good, even though I feel like I’m carrying sadness in me, but it is not all of me at the moment. I don’t know if that makes sense?! So, the words: “IT MATTERS”, were just the right ones to hear! Please give my best to the our visiting monk there, we miss him! All the best and in Gassho…Jack

  2. YES!

    I like this. (I am going to print it out.) It reminds me that everything I experience is my life including the feelings. But it isn’t who I am.

    The life in me is at this (part of what gets called my life) now trying to find how to play – to enjoy what is passing through I. Why do we (what gets confused for I) take it so seriously, what is it what gets confused for I fears? The unlived life.

    Maybe in the spring it will seem easier. l.o.l. The rose looks sad.

  3. I think one can get terrible lost with the question, or concern, about ‘who I am’. We must have talked about this already. Lots probably. I think your re learning how to play is a good way for the question to find its own level and place in the scheme of things.

    It is not that this is a non question or a non concern, more that the answers show themselves in the midst of ones day. Not so much as answers coming from on high or even as ‘answers’ to specific questions, more a rising up or welling up of gratitude which flows on.

  4. Jack. I do understand about the not feeling sad in the face of your mothers imminent death. It is odd on the face of it, however a little below the surface is the knowing that there isn’t really anything to be sad about. This is where your devotion to practice, living each day best you know how in the ever shifting sands, kicks in. That a grain of sand is here and then goes out of sight is simply how living ‘stacks up’.

    Sadness there will be, rising up and falling away however you know that there is not an ‘aught’ about how to behave and feel around death. Although showing joy and elation, which may be in ones heart because you know this is just a leaf fluttering to the ground, is perhaps not the best way to behave outwardly at the time of death. People might wonder, as well they might!

    Hang in there and I will pass on your best to the visiting Reverend here at the moment.

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