Removing the Punctuation in My Life

Sometimes I need to remove the punctuation from my life the barriers of understanding that separate me from other people and other ways of looking at the world

Sometimes it is not easy to break out of the masculine side of my experience of my genetic code that would have me withdraw from the connectedness that is so vital to a better world

Withdraw behind the walls of a security that is not really security at all

There are times when I am moved to tears by the willingness of women to fight for peace to engage for peace to build for peace for all our children

I spent the day at the World Bank in Washington DC with twenty-five hundred women who dare to imagine peace not just for themselves but for the entire world

Women of every size and shape and color and temperament and desire and talent and age

Women rich and poor and lonely and alone and wife and partner and mother and professional

I spent today with thousands of angels of peace me an alien from another planet fortunate to be in their presence awed by their commitment inspired by their vision

Sometimes I must break down the punctuation in my life that would prevent me from seeing to the other side

Put aside the commas and the periods and the exclamation marks so that perhaps I can see some truth

Like the truth of chorus men who diligently and individually rehearsed their music their task while a chorus woman decided out loud that she would dedicate her song to her husband and children who could not be there

And in these two simple but profound punctuated differences of how we men and you women approach the moment I choose to see real hope for us together because it is this balance that we so desperately must find

I hear the truth that this must be the century when women come into full partnership and I realize this is the same path I have traveled with my mate for almost fifty years

Mine must not be yet another marriage or this another century of masculine dominance but one of equal partnership

I spent today with the spirit of three billion women many who will never know the blessings of freedom

Who continue to be systematically punctuated out of existence by uncaring male dominated religious and political systems

Can you hear their angry cries…the women of the world cry out to you

I heard their cries this morning and my heart broke and I could barely contain my grief

Or my joy as I remembered the many women in my life who for almost seventy years convinced me I was worthy of love long before I learned to love myself

These women who I would name but for a lack of space

I talked to my daughters today as women not children as keepers of the future confident that they would face their challenges with compassion how could a father ask for more

And my wife who continues to amaze me in every way who has the courage to understand both my male and female sides and the patience for me to learn which to use

Sometimes I need to remove the punctuation from my life so that I can remember to respect and listen to the women around me

The world is a much more wonderful place with them at my side

Note: This poem is excepted from my book, Romancing the Buddha and is based on a wonderful meeting of 2500 women at the World Bank that I was fortunate to be invited to write about.

For a much more intimate take on being a female in our society, I recommend this excellent article!

I write, speak, create art & play music to inspire and give hope to myself and others.

I write, speak, create art & play music to inspire and give hope to myself and others.