The bow bent remembers home long,

the years of its tree, the whine

of wind all night conditioning

it, and its answer – Twang!

To the people here who would fret me down

their way and make me bend:

by remembering hard I could startle for home

and be myself again.

William Stafford: The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems

There is a stretch that inevitably comes from trying to hold an experience with equanimity.  From the moment we wake up there will be a long line of people willing us to bend around their tautness.

What to do?


Bend to that point of being useful, of creating space between bow and string so that the Twang is a single, resonant note of your mutual liberation.

Thank you for practicing,


3 thoughts on “recoil

  1. If you are unbending, you cannot stop floating along in birth and death. Dogen, Guidelines for Studying the Way

    🙂 And yet… in daily life, I end up feeling like a bonsai!

  2. This poem reminds me that bending is not submitting. It can be the force (kinetic) released to send ‘like an arrow to its mark’

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