Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Context: A bit of a digression

  Today, I started packing for Indonesia.
  I'm contemplating the dimensions of my suitcase, trying to make a mental check list of every thing I'll need to bring for a year-long adventure! :D
Specifically, I'm intensely analyzing and profoundly pondering what I should bring as a gift for my new parents!
 I've been trying to think of something special, really personal about myself that would be a good conversation starter/really meaningful.
  With this on my mind, I was passing by this book of poems by my namesake: Ruth Thomas Halbrooks. I can't give my host family this book of poems but maybe later on I can translate this one poem that particularly resonated with me--it's a good depiction of my hopes for the next year and, more generally, my life outlook.
Here's hoping sharing this on the internet doesn't make dear Mrs. Ruth Thomas Halbrooks roll in her grave (RIP)!

By Ruth Thomas Halbrooks

"Let me be kind and gentle with this world,
Embrace it, not with crushing arms, but eyes
That gaze on vast expanse of earth impearled
In space when ebon heavens tranquilize
The night with velvet peace and soothing psalm.
May I be sensitive to life and find
I can yet hold a petal in my palm,
A sunset in my color-conscious mind.
Let me caress the earth with open heart,
Enjoy each birdsong with attentive ears,
Watch tides that change by moon's magnetic art,
Feel gratitude as each new dawn appears.
Aware of all creation still unfurled,
Let me be gentle with this treasured world."

  So, if you know me, you know that this poem just happens to also be completely in line with my passion for loving and respecting the Earth; it also happens to mirror a wish for many ideals I strive to embody: an open heart and mind, greet every day with gratitude, listen more than I talk, appreciate differences, and learn about different cultures. Maybe you don't see all of that in there, it's how I interpreted it.
Now I'm going to actually get my second suitcase out of the attic! Woooo!