Tuesday, 3 November 2015


How would it be if we all hung out our washing together
on the line?
What if we were brave enough to show the faded sheets
with the holes at the end;
the socks that still need darning,
the trousers with frayed hems.

What if we chose right now, to no longer pretend;
to the world, the neighbours, our friends.
If we could shout out, “I’m not good enough,
I’m hardly even close.
Its all pretense, and God only knows -
the truth?”

What if we exchanged our truest selves,
like linen table coverings hanging in the sun.
Plain and laid bare,
with a spot here and there;
that we might normally cover,
with the table runner.

What if we chose not to disguise the flaws,
but let them hang out in the sun.
Whipping in the breeze, free and light.
No longer burdensome,
but at ease in the peace,
of lessened expectations.

What if we were kind? 
Not just to others, but to ourselves?
What if we turned that smile inwards;
and the grace that we have learned to impart,
to other’s failings,
we generously gave ourselves.

What if we were to say, “I’m not good. I’m far from.
But I am trying, as hard as anyone, and that’s enough”.
For saying that out loud, we might just find,
has a magic to absolve us
from the shame,
of all the things we keep inside.

Like washing in the light,
of the sun.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
October 2015

"Most of us need to be reminded that we are good, that we are lovable, that we belong.  If we knew just how powerfully our thoughts, words, and actions affected the hearts of those around us, we'd reach out and join hands again and again."  Tara Brach, 'True Refuge'

Bucklands Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

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