surprise

Poem: Awakening

This morning at breakfast I had nine grapes.
I know

Because I tasted each one

And enjoyed each one and

For the first time felt

the resistance of each one as

I pulled each from its stem

For the first time saw

Where the grape meets the stem

The little tufts

Through which the grape became the grape
Through which the nutrients, the flavor, the sweetness

Flowed into it and

Now into me

Small, never before seen by me, unnamed, unfamous

Tufts

And then the bread

Dense with grains,

Good-for-you dense and dry in the mouth.

What’s this?

Sweetness!

Cranberries on the underside
Hidden from my view.

My goodness, what a surprise.

I can hardly contain myself with the glory of this moment.
Tears well up.
I don’t know why.

Great anticipation to get back to my room to write this down

And still the great challenge not to anticipate.
So many

Moments between now and then

Wash my dishes fully present,

Climb the steps,

Bow to the monk passing by,

Walk through the garden, each plant,

Pass the pond where the fish are quiet

Enjoying the cool water before the sun shines
.

Tom Heller, Awakened Virtues of the Heart, is moving from Seattle to Cambodia, where he and his wife hope to start a Sangha.

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