Six Words

Six Words

Although there are
many good words
and many words
that can heal
there are six words
that I’m especially happy
to know in life.
Six words
that, if lived by well,
connect us together
and can heal us all.

First is the Chinese word, ‘Tao.’
It means a great deal
when you understand it.
Imagine everything that exists,
both alive and inanimate.
Think of everything all this does.
Imagine the reasons why everything
that exists do all that they do.
All of that, all together, all at once
is what Tao is.
Think of everything anything ever does
as notes in a grand song
that an orchestra is playing.
Tao is the orchestra and the song
all together, all at once.
Tao is the idea that the entire Universe
is one single system-in-action.
It means that we each and all
are separate things
that together make One thing.
It is what gives all existence
pattern and order
and it is the music
to which in life we all dance.
Tao is all of us in an orchestra
playing a grand symphony
while dancing along.
Good to know
that Tao doesn’t dictate actions
but allows all the different
kinds of music everyone wants to play.
Tao is all that we understand
and all that dwells
beyond our understanding.
It is the fly on the table,
your son texting his friends,
your Aunt Harriet sewing a scarf,
Elephants on the savannah,
and all the fish in the sea.
Tao is all of us dancing
to a melody never set to paper.
Tao is all the things we do in life.
Tao is you and me.

Next is the Hindi word ‘Namaste.’
It means ‘I honor and see
the place in you where
dwells love and the divine,
and I honor that same place in me,
thereby together we are One.’
I like this word very much
because if you say it
with your heart and soul
it reminds you that
we all are brothers and sisters—
Children of the same Mother Nature.
Everything that lives
are equals by virtue
of the sparks of life
within us all.

Next is a phrase
spoken by the Lakota people
of North America.
‘Mitakuye oyasin’ means
‘All my relations’ and
calls to mind not just
your human brothers and sisters
but your relations to
everything that exists
in the entire Universe.
It means that all Nature
is interconnected
and we each are small parts
of something vast and magical.
Something that is wonderful
and full of mystery.

Next are two more words
from the Chinese language.
Yin and Yang call to mind
not the good and the bad,
but that which is passive
and that which is active in life.
Yin is passive and supple
like liquid water.
Yang is active and assertive
like the same water in the form
of a thunder storm.
Yin Yang means that all the world
evolves in cycles, the active
first rising then giving way
to the passive only to rise
and give way again and again.
Yin and Yang are not opposites.
Like two sides of a great mountain
one side quiet in the shade,
the other shined upon
by the bright sun,
each side is complementary
to the other and within in each
is the seed of its counterpart.
Neither one is better than the other
and different parts of the world
gravitate naturally to one or the other.
Though both appear in all the world
in equal proportion, it is said
that Nature favors the Yin.
Yin and Yang remind us all
that the sum of our lives
is not a battle
in the middle of fighting
but a continuous process
that is constantly evolving.

Different words are favored
by different people.
These words are the ones
that mean the most to me.
I favor them, or perhaps,
they favor me.
Six words gathered
from the cultures of Humanity.
Six words to connect us each.
Six words to bind
all life together as One.
Six words to guide and nurture.
Six words to live
and love and learn.

Dewey Dirks

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