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Monk in the World Guest Post: Christine S. Davis

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission for the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Christine Davis’ reflection “Losing the Weight.”

Weighted down by worries, work, and weariness, I struggle to release the anxious thoughts, monsters in my mind, problems building and consequences looming. Sick dog still, a daily trial for her and us, every day for six weeks now, distress and hope, 


I breathe, let the breeze wash over me as I embrace my self today.


compassion and caution. Work piling and time ending, summer is almost over–the four saddest words in the English language to a 


I honor commitment, the power of the promise, reminders of the road taken, vows made.

Let go of more–more things to do, things to have, things to keep. Open your hand.


teacher. The muse has left town, she cannot handle the knot in my stomach and ache on my brow. Summer is almost over and I am still carrying the extra 40 pounds, still haven’t trained for a triathlon, taken a pottery class, traveled to the islands, 


I appreciate courage, willingness to step out and overcome, overlook, face the lump of fear in your throat.

Let go of striving–the sun and the rain sustain my Yoshino cherry trees.


finished my book, or kayaked. Prince Charming, Superman, and Wonder Woman have all gone with the muse, and I am left with ordinary living, breathing, tiring, dying, 


I dream of a soft touch, a soft voice saying my name, a soft smile, crinkling at the joke.

Let go of dissatisfaction–be content with the love in your life and in your heart.


humans and beings. It seems life is lived in heartbeats and breaths rather than outcomes or accomplishments, and I did drink wine on the Rhine River, and at cafes in Colmar and Basel, did walk labyrinths in Switzerland and Inis Mor; did write poetry sitting amidst ancient gravestones and 8th century monastic ruins, 


I celebrate surprises, sudden adventures, and invitations into the unknown.

Let go of fear–trust in soft landings and ultimate strength.


and in a courtyard garden in Basel. I did read about romance and adventure, poetry and laments; share secrets and failings; lie in arms of love; play backgammon with a friend and patty-cake with a child; eat and move my body in various ways; spoon feed a baby 


I respect action and activity, purposeful practice, making, enjoying, and being.

Let go of shame–you are human and there is much joy to be found in that.


and feel the delicious drool of him sleeping soundly on my chest. I did write about death and love and I practiced it in daily moments upon returning home, in moments of spoon feeding a sick dog and cleaning vomit from a carpet and a sad furry face, disappointments and discouragements, 


I yearn for openness and compassion, much too rare today, love in action and word.

Let go, let the waters run through your fingers, what will be will be.


cancellations and crises. I am far from Inis Mor and Basel, Colmar and Weil em Rhine, and my mountaintop retreat, train rides, city strolls, art museums and border crossings, hiking trails and swimming holes,


I need novelty, excitement, change positions, try something new.

I am letting go of what will not be, being patient for what is to come, accepting what is, appreciating what has been, and remaining open to the holy tenses in all things.


but I am immersed in love as a verb, in writing poetry and editing drafts, dealing with the messy everyday dust and dirt, blockages and blockades, wrong turns and dead ends, frustrations and fatalizations, friends holding on, talking me down, pulling me up, lending an ear, a shoulder, and a hug.


Watch the morning dove land, spread her white wings. Do likewise.


© Christine Salkin Davis, 2017, previously published in my blog on August 5, 2017.

Dr. Christine S. Davis is Professor in the Communication Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests are in the intersection of family, health, and disability. Christine publishes regularly on topics such as children’s health, end-of-life communication, family disability, and arts-based and qualitative research methods. Her blog was inspired by her participation in the “Writing on the Wild Edges” retreat and is an exploration of arts-based, poetic, and narrative thoughts on living and dying, caring and being.

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3 Responses

  1. My beloved 14 year old pug, Molly died yesterday. My husband and I buried her this morning. I recognize the grief and the hope in your work. Thank you and blessings.

  2. Beautiful! I am amazed by how much this musing reflects where I am. Very touching, wonderfully done. Thank you!

  3. This is really lovely. I like the “interuptions” in the poem, which are also the poem. It made me think of intrusive thoughts and self-talk, the struggle of being quiet and appreciative in a noisy and chaotic world.