I came upon this poem by chance and fell in love with it. Meditators know this issue painfully intimately — as do introverts like me: the pulling of attention and desire outward even when one finds joy being with oneself. And I love how poetess Naomi Shihab Nye offers advice with humor and insight, ending with a reminder to cherish for a lifetime.
When they say don’t I know you?
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say we should get together.
It’s not that you don’t love them any more.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.