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LEADER RESOURCE 1: Instructions for the Journey

By Pat Schneider, from Another River: New and Selected Poems (Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2005). Used with permission.

The self you leave behind

is only a skin you have outgrown.

Don't grieve for it.

Look to the wet, raw, unfinished

self, the one you are becoming.

The world, too, sheds its skin:

politicians, cataclysm, ordinary days.

It is easy to lose this tenderly

unfolding moment. Look for it

as if it were the first green blade

after a long winter. Listen for it

as if it were the first clear tone

in a place where dawn is heralded by bells.

And, if all that fails,

wash your own dishes. Rinse them.

Stand in your kitchen at your sink.

Let cold water run between your fingers.

Feel it.

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Last updated on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

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