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Imagine an entire school – students, teachers, and administrators – taking time each morning to turn inward together, and listen to a brief mindfulness prompt and world-class music.
The Well's programs combine best practices in arts and wellness and are designed in partnership with those they serve. How do we create our programs? In partnership with others and especially those we serve.
We love collaborating with local, national and international community partners and peoples in a variety of arts programming and mindfulness practices.
This month for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate the poem "Under One Small Star" by Wislawa Szymborska. Troy Bronsink opened with a grounding spatial awareness meditation. Scott Holzman selected and presented the poem and gifted us with a wonderful prompt: "A written exploration of apology."
We were delighted with the poems that were created during our refreshing hour together.
Here is a video of the gathering and live reading of the poems created by our gatherers. More poems created by the group are shared below!
A p o l o g i a
By Elena Estella Green
In defense of character, more than personality
More than words that hurt. This new self
Gathers no sin, no retribution.
Just an apology in letter form
Filled with confidence and grace.
This is me, this is me, old now
But younger than my youth.
Younger than time itself.
Back to the beginning
Where every comment
Was a compliment.
This is the other country
Where life is not an
Life is the essence of this apology
Forgiveness is its fruit.
I can spend an hour
At a bus stop.
A smile is a perfect apology
To a worn out world.
Tired of the fight.
We lay down our arms
Soldiers no more.
We join hands not as penance
But as a jubilation.
I don't feel sorry.
I don't feel worry.
I have no regrets
to make my heart scurry.
But forgive me
for when I didn't listen
or heed my own advice.
Or the times I felt the pressure
of a cold and steely vice.
Forgive me for growing up,
for finding my own voice.
I've learned to fill my cup,
and I know I have a choice.
For bumping my flesh against yours,
Bare there on the street in the sun,
In the cold.
For nearly throwing the door
Into your face, in my hurry to be
Once again outside it.
For being here, at this place, seeking
The same thing, at the same time.
For my occasional dis-ease in my own skin,
--Okay--not so occasional as normal,
The way it makes me red with bloodstreams
Pounding their alarm at the nearness of humans
When I am raw, naked animal.
How might I live without these apologies,
For taking this gulp of air, exuded from
Ephemeral flowers, from giants across the land,
from minute ones in the seas,
for being this one self
Today in a stream of others,
For having this soft earth cupping my bare foot,
For my eyes having been the ones to meet
With the little bear standing against their mother’s back
In the deep twilight, for my dear hair to be blowing
So intimately in this wild, in this wind,
For my ears to be sucking in leafsong the way
Sand takes in waves, always ready for the next
Cascade. To be animal is to consume, and
I’ll say it—I’m sorry, for eating this dripping moment
And for staying beneath the roof for all the rest.
By Sarah Pinho
I write in defense of a progressive, Unitarian church board willing to rent to a congregation of monolingual Spanish-speaking Pentecostals at a reduced rate.
I write in defense of the hyper intellectuals who have multiplied at an alarming rate in our humble little writing group.
I write in defense of the man who teaches the Anglos to speak and write a Spanish that breaks many rules established by the Real Academia Española.
I write in defense of the university professor who dared to teach children’s literature to working women in Los Ángeles, and in defense of the working woman who dared to read classical literature.
I write in defense of our board president, who suffers from analysis paralysis and spends an extensive amount of time thanking every single volunteer in superlatives and hyperbole.
I write in defense of my possibly witty but perhaps just misogynist use of the word “bitch” at the bar last night in my protest at being called a Christian.
I write in defense of our joyful, human, imperfect collective attempt at creating a beloved community.
Please don’t take your righteous self away. Please, bring your haikus and your multitudes and join us.
That one time
By Wade Hopkins
That one time it escalated from peal to howl
He sat red faced and indignant
His every imagined intent finally confirmed
Sneering so smugly at the validation of my degeneracy
He always knew it would happen like this
Accused of an unrepentant soul
It should be obvious that I must be held accountable to his title and his authority and his god.
Oh I’m sorry - now can we go back to class?
Mindful Poetry Moments, a collaboration incubated by The On Being Project and now supported by The Well and partners The Hive, The Mercantile Library, and WordPlay, offers a chance to pause and reflect on poetry’s ability to encounter ourselves, the world, and the mystery of each other.
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Our programs have been nourishing the community since 2005. In 2019, we became the non-profit, A Mindful Moment.
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