08 April 2007

My Birthday Present

In my family, we have two birthday traditions. The first is to do something out of the ordinary good that no one will ever find out about, and the second is to give ourselves a birthday present. Obviously, I can't discuss the first. This post, however, is my birthday present to myself.

A young woman who is a good and much loved friend of mine wrote me a very beautiful letter for my birthday. In part she said:

...I see a woman deep inside you, a...warrior, a...victor, but you
won't let her out... Look in the mirror, see if you can see what I see.

I looked and this is what I saw. It came in poetic form, the first real poem I've written in nearly thirty years.


When I look in the mirror,
I see a tired, old weather-beaten lioness
who has fought too many battles
over too many years.

But when I look into her eyes,
I see the fire is still there,
ready to flare up
and burn away injustice
wherever it may be found.

I see an undying optimism
that says that life is worth living
for its own sake,
that humanity is, after all,
worthy fighting for,
worth saving,
and in spite of itself,
worth loving.

I see tenderness
and compassion and hope.
I see the certain knowledge that
love is the strongest force in all existence.

I see that the impossible
has indeed been accomplished,
I hear the sound of the Naam
reverberating through the cosmos.

I see a battle well-fought,
the final outcome still in the future,
mine to keep fighting, if not mine to win,
mine never to surrender,
but to leave the final outcome
in the hands of God
knowing that all will be according to Waheguru's hukam.

I see all this
with my own eyes
through my own eyes
in my own eyes.


Picture: We Are Going To Battle

Courtesy of simmal tree

Used by permission