Love Letter to My Left Hand

[Editor’s note: Love Letter to My Left Hand is a poem by my dharma brother John Snyder. This was another poem shared on the Order of Interbeing Yahoo group in conjunction with two threads on mindfulness in healing: “Working with Health” and “Practicing with ALS“. These conversations were very lively and inspired many of my brothers and sisters to share their poems. John Snyder was a classical violinist.]

Love Letter to My Left Handgratitude2

Rest here in my lap; your former work is almost done.
See, you can cradle my right hand in meditation –
a fitting end for such a spiritual seeker as you.

Right-handed as I am, you played second fiddle as I took hold of life.
But when I picked up my violin, ah, then you were the concertmaster of the body’s orchestra.
Everything depended on your strength, your agility, your sensitivity, your ardor.

Do not think because you are weak and weakening I do not love you.
I love you as a father would love an imprisoned son – with compassion for what you are, memories of what you were, and regrets for what you might have been.
Never shall I forget that you were once magnificent and generous of spirit.

When I gave up the violin for the viola, you had the humility to become a beginner again, letting go of long habit and pride of accomplishment.
How happy you were in those days, becoming the hand of Bartok or Brahms, Vaughn Williams or Debussy!
Now you want to curl into a fist that will never open, but I will not let you. Your future is openness, becoming the one hand that silently claps at the moment of awakening.

– John R. Snyder, 2013

Please share this poem and tell John Snyder what you think about it!

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