William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Wisdom’

Wise Old Child

Letting go the precious image of oneself — the habit, the mask, the careworn cloak — isn’t this the fear of death? And if it is, why not let go now and be completely free, like the wind that blows and snow that falls? In life and deed — why not be a wise old child? . [ 1609 ]

Continue Reading →

For Your Own Sake

Men seek wisdom, sunflower sprouts spring from the warming soil. * Rich or poor, for your own sake, ask yourself what you would do if money weren’t a concern. * Love is the sound the shovel makes. * Birch clock: the dead branch, the singing bird. * Cedar clock: the low branch, the rope swing. * Old or young, ask yourself what you would do if time weren’t a concern. […]

Continue Reading →

The Fool on the Hill

Dry pavement. Thirty-four degrees. Stars, clouds, fog. I was passed by a young runner this morning whose footsteps were so loud they started a dog barking. He was on the sidewalk, I was in the middle of the road. Someday, if the young runner is lucky, he will be an old runner. If he’s even luckier, he’ll be a running elder, prized for his wisdom in all the villages around. […]

Continue Reading →

The Beauty Inside

And war, Master? Upon hearing these words, the old man smiled. Beside him was a bowl of nuts. He chose one and held it up. War, he said, is the breaking of the shell. Then, between mottled hands that were as strong as they were gentle, he cracked the nut and pried it open to reveal the beauty inside. He gave half to his pupil and put the other half […]

Continue Reading →

The Earth Says Hello

There were high winds and heavy rain throughout the night. Now that it’s light, I see several more fir branches are down. Most are about six to eight feet in length; the longest, with its thick end leaning against the fig tree, is about twelve feet, and two inches in diameter. And so nature’s cleanup of last year’s ice storm continues. Later I’ll go out and have a look at […]

Continue Reading →

Not Only Trees

Trees are not only trees: they pretend to be trees. They know I am used to seeing and thinking of them as trees, and are kind enough to act accordingly. At the same time, like me, they are what they are by virtue of a process that disperses and combines everything in the universe to arrive at something familiar, yet always original and new. And so now, in effect, it […]

Continue Reading →

No Thinker to Think, No Doer to Do

I try to learn something every day. The subjects vary from the natural environment, to diet, exercise, and health from ancient and modern perspectives, to human behavior and the mechanics of habit and addiction, to sleep, dreams, and memory, and to other things seemingly related or unrelated that suggest themselves along the way, and which seem to shed light on this existence. That this does little to allay my general […]

Continue Reading →

Proverb 18

I was ankle-deep in organic composted dairy manure, shovel in hand, when the mailman stopped at the foot of the garden space and said with a smile, “I just realized you look exactly like Gandalf.” I pointed to the manure pile in the driveway and replied, “And this is the source of my magic.” Under the vine, then, under the apricot, under the blueberry. Under the sun, the moon, and […]

Continue Reading →