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This came to my inbox this morning, courtesy of Larry Robinson at Poetry Lovers Lists. It was written by Rebecca Del Rio and it said something to me today, as I sit here wrapping my head around this past week. Sometimes we get the strawberries, sometimes the tiger. I like this poet's reminder that tigers need love, too.
“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly..." a Zen story as told by Pema Chödrön
When one is in the habit of Demands,
there are always Tigers, everywhere
hungry for attention. Strawberries
eaten in haste have little flavor, like
hurried love, pressured between
appointments and sleep.
to know the Tiger, too, love it,
savor it so voraciously, the ferocity
softens and you see it was
no Demand after all, but rather
an entreaty, a roaring request,
please, please taste me, too.
- Rebecca del Rio