Our facilitator, Nessa McCasey, gave us a poem by Leonard Nathan entitled So? It is a poem about accepting who you are not and who you will never become but also about who you are. We were encouraged to write our own version by following the format of his poem.
It is admittance of your weaknesses, the shortcomings that you have imposed on yourself. But also the acceptance of your strengths. And it was liberating. I encourage you to do the same. Who have you always aspired to be? What have you hoped to do but know it is impossible? By writing my version of this poem, I let go some of those dreams and accepted who I am right now.
So you aren't Tolstoy or Saint Francis
or even a well-known singer
of popular songs
and will never read Greek
or speak French fluently,
will never see something no one else
has seen before through a lens
or with the naked eye.
You've been given just one life
in the world that mattersand upon which every other life
somehow depends as long as you live,
and also given the costly gifts of hunger,
choice, and pain with which to raise
a modest shrine of meaning.
So you aren't Jacques Cousteau or Mary Oliver
or even the Queen of England,
will probably never again read Tolstoy
or speak Japanese fluently.
You will never fly to the moon or
discover the missing link.
You have been given the ability to love
and receive love.
And more than that you can look at yourself
straight in the eye and
honestly say that you matter.