Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Appreciating This First Morning of Daylight Savings Time" by Gerard Sarnat

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Appreciating This First Morning of Daylight Savings Time” by Gerard Sarnat.  Dr. Sarnat has authored four collections: Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting The Ice King (2016) (previously reviewed in Songs of Eretz  In addition to several features in Songs of Eretz (, his poetry has been published in:  Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords, Floor Plan. Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Tipton Journal

Dr. Sarnat was educated at Harvard and Stanford Universities. He has worked in jails, built and staffed clinics for the marginalized, and has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and Stanford Medical School professor.

Appreciating This First Morning of Daylight Savings Time
Gerard Sarnat

Mudita is my favorite inspiration in Buddhism.

In Pāli it roughly means Empathetic Joy. Sort of being able to see through others’ eyes, get into their skin, ultimately love.

I’m not sure if there’s an equivalent single word in English.

That’s one part of why I relish it.

A second reason is that cultivating Mudita has been challenging.

The Buddha composed lists; Mudita is the third Brahma-Vihara, or Noble Abode.

It is surrounded by the equally worthy goals of Lovingkindness, Compassion and Equanimity.

Into my eighth decade, except when in physician mode, I have had some difficulty not considering cripples They.

After months of prodromal fits/starts, suddenly a grimacing pretzel, walking stick in left hand, lurching right, I am They.

Since housebound moving minimally as possible, it is improbable I would be your individual Mudita opportunity.

But we are around should you wish to try engaging with simple acknowledgement, perhaps just a smile to start?

Although I appreciate receiving Compassion, my intention here is not purely personal.

Relinquishing independence toilet to driving’s hard – still so far I’ve been able to maintain Equanimity on the whole.

Today if not too cold I might be warmed on our forest deck or through the lens of spring’s blooming garden perfection.

Kind, brave, mostly mindful family and dearest friends extend good will and take excellent care.

My "Rest and see what happens" phase is reaching its end as optional suffering begins to magnify inevitable pain.

While medicine interventions offer relief in the form of a limitless prescription fog bummer, marijuana seems pleasant.

And surgical clarity likely soon will Roto-Root plus fuse Lumbar 2-4 Spinal Stenosis with Retrolisthesis, make me well.

In the meantime using a Lumex Rollator is safer than a cane and allows me to maintain upright posture.

That freaks people out less, but since I don’t have a free hand, it requires extra trips or more proactive support.

I learn how to let go, surrender control, request help constructively, encourage companions to think ahead\along with me.

Buddha’s first sermon laid out Impermanence -- things change -- as the # 1 basic fact of existence.

Last night was even funny: repurposing a takeout BBQ chicken plastic dome as a pisspot, I didn’t notice the vent holes!

I am fortunate compared to those of us who can never be made whole, or live with awful terminal illnesses.

Why do I write now from my little world?  Because once better, like blind people who regain vision, humans forget.
"Mudita" (Joy) in Sanskrit

With Metta (Lovingkindness) for all sentient beings.

Poet’s Notes:  This poem attempts to move readers to experience the inevitable ups and downs as mindfully and skillfully and lovingly as possible in their own lives as well as those of others. 

Editor’s Note:  I especially enjoy the way Gerry seamlessly mixes Buddhism, Judaism, and allopathy into the poetic narrative.

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