“It’s not my job to be the world’s critic.” Jane McGonical

My meditation bench is clunky,
It’s high and the seat is long.
I love this bench
For all is reclaimed from the roadside,
Each piece a castaway
Brought together by fate, purpose, or dumb luck.

I care not how they came together,
Only that they are.
There’s no animus for the polluters,
No cry against a disposable society,
Just happiness and joy for the pairing
Of wood from the same mother.

Tonight my mind fell into a deep flow
On only the second time using this bench.
I can’t tell if I was falling asleep or really letting go,
Casting off the grime beneath my confidence,
Jettisoning the dominoes of analysis,
Breaking the loop of self-criticism.

Either way, I’m wasted
In a fog like state
Where the clarity comes
With peacefulness and freedom
From the ball and chain that is
Being a critic.

Pride can be the greatest antagonist
Probing at a man’s will and effort
To rob him
Off all he is about

Laps on the track
Above the basketball court
Showed the struggle of a man below
As his jumper missed the twine
And his shoulders slumped
Before the slamming of the ball
And cursing started

Pride, the antagonist

Standing at the first tee
The fairway’s expanse offering a landing spot
For golf’s toughest shot
His swing full of might
Barely plunking the ball
Past the old man tee
His laugh a deflector shield
There to hide the hurt inside

Pride, the antagonist

Yet, Pride, the protagonist exists
Propping up confidence
Allowing a sense of accomplishment
For those open to the opportunity of failure

Finding the stroke popping those jumpers
With a graceful arc and sure flick of the wrist
Swinging freely with that big dog
Going long slow…square to square
Will bring back those feelings of worth

Pride, the protagonist

All told, though, being proud is less
About the reality of the last try
And more centered in the appreciation
Of the potential
For the next attempt
Standing tall and letting go
Of what just happened
To be totally engaged with now
Finding worth in the moment and journey
Rather than each bump on the trip

Pride, the protagonist