Archive | January 2011

Figuring out my limits

Now dear,
I know this won’t make you happy
In the short term
But I have to say no to some things

I know you really want to go skating
And tomorrow is the best day for you
But from my perspective, that won’t work!

I am the one who has to say no
Because I’m the one who knows my limits best
And it’s time I respected them

I can always push myself a bit more
Sleep less
Agree to something reluctantly
To make someone else happy

But the one who will pay the price
Will be me

It’s easier for me to please others
To say yes
But that’s something I can no longer afford
My body and spirit will let me know

So when I think I should say yes
Half-heartedly
I should think about what my motive is

No one else knows my limits
They will ask
And the one who decides needs to be me!

So often I’ve pushed myself too much
So often I have burned out
So often I have not said no
So often I have suffered so

I don’t learn the lessons of life easily
But life has a way of teaching me
We review the same lesson, repeatedly…

So, my dear
This time, it’s no to skating
But I’d be happy to do something else with you
And schedule skating for a different time
A time that will be good for me and you!

Lida Berghuis
January 11th, 2011

I don’t remember….

I start everyday fresh and new
Memories of days past are history

Ask me what I ate a few days ago
Or details of a book I read last week

Ask me to make meatloaf without a recipe
Ask me when my next dentist appointment is

To me, it’s all a mystery
My memory is like a sieve

No, it’s not old age or menopause
My poor memory goes to back to when I was young

Memorizing dates in history class, a torture
Remembering my students’’ name, an adventure

Once I had two students
Whose names I mixed up
And after that no matter how hard I tried
I could not reprogram my brain
The wrong names stayed in my head

My husband and kids are with a
Good memory blessed
Which makes me look worse
As you’ can guess

My poor memory has other downsides too
Forgetting how to get somewhere
Getting lost on the way back …
Misplacing an important document
Now, where did I actually file that?

But poor memory has an upside too
I get to start each day anew
Forget the sorrows of the past
Leave behind me what has passed

Yes, my poor memory gets me in trouble sometimes
But each day is brand new, a fresh start!

Lida Berghuis
January 8th, 2011

Hand writing

Does anyone hand write anymore?
In the age of e-mail and
Electronic agendas
Do we take the time to write things out?

Even my doctor’s prescription
Comes typed in now
That may not be a bad thing though
Considering how some doctors write

Handwriting
So personal
So revealing in many ways
When I write in large strokes
You can see the energy and enthusiasm

When the letters are smaller
I may be feeling blue
When I write on a slant
I like that…
When I doodle and draw on the page
Another dimension I add

Sometimes I write so fast
That some letters are skipped
I’s are not dotted
And some letters merge

There is no spell check
And I may have to cross things out
But every page tells a tale
Unique, each line

Paper can get older and more fragile
Handwriting can fade
But isn’t that a mirror of our lives?
They also can become more valuable
Over time

And if my hard drive is wiped out
By accident or the back-up fails
My notebooks will still be there
I started keeping journals when I was twelve

First written in Persian
Then in a mix of English and Persian
Then in English mostly
First written in prose
And now in poetry

Paper and pen will always
Be my friends
Our friendship goes back to way back when!

Lida Berghuis
January 2nd, 2011

Bewildering Surrender

Sell your questioning talents and buy
Bewildering surrender*

Surrender does not imply weakness
It’s a sign of humility
I finally realize how little I know
No matter how hard I try
To find the answers to the questions of life

And when I surrender, when I let go
Things hurt less
Certainty is deceiving
It carries with it a hint of pride

Our mind’s calibration of
What’s good and what’s not
Is oftentimes inaccurate*

From what we see as bad
Can bloom many flowers, fragrant
In what we see as good
We can drown and forget
What’s important

Bewildering surrender
Bewildering, because there is so much
That we cannot know fully in this life

Bewildering because
What we thought was black is white
And what we thought was here
To cause us grief
Gives us joy, eternal

Bewildering because
Surrender gives us wings
Acknowledging that we don’t know
And cannot know, gives us wisdom

Bewildered and astonished
I surrender to the Higher Power
That is compassionate
And knows all
I surrender to the school of life

I acknowledge that I don’t know
And so I surrender
To the Beauty of the One who does

Lida Berghuis
December 31st, 2010

* Rumi