For the love of the world

by Christina on July 28, 2011

Yesterday, our residency program had a “wellness morning.” I felt like the luckiest intern on the planet: spending the morning with a group of my amazing co-interns, talking about what sustains us, what gives us energy, what things we do not want to lose during residency.

We all shared poems and pieces of writing that inspire our practice of medicine. This one was read aloud and I found it so beautiful:

For Love of the World

For the love of a tree,
she went out on a limb.

For the love of the sea,
she rocked the boat.

For the love of the earth,
she dug deeper.

For the love of community,
she mended fences.

For the love of the stars,
she let her light shine.

For the love of spirit,
she nurtured her soul.

For the love of a good time,
she sowed seeds of happiness.

For the love of the Goddess,
she drew down the moon.

For the love of nature,
she made compost.

For the love of a good meal,
she gave thanks.

For the love of family,
she reconciled differences.

For the love of creativity,
she entertained new possibilities.

For the love of her enemies,
she suspended judgment.

For the love of herself,
she acknowledged her worth.

And the world was richer for her.

~Charlotte Tall Mountain

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Palmer July 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I love it! Thank you for sharing! I love that you had a wellness morning, that sounds amazing. All jobs should have that!


Kathleen Coco July 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm

That is cool. I would like to do that in my group. I am sure you guys already need it! Here is one of my favorites. I had it posted over my desk when one of my partners was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and there seemed to be an avalanche of work.

To be of use
by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
“To be of use” by Marge Piercy © 1973, 1982.
From CIRCLES ON THE WATER © 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Middlemarsh, Inc.
First published in Lunch magazine. Used by permission of Wallace Literary Agency.


Christina August 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

Kathleen, thank you for this! What a great poem.

I agree, if only more workplaces had time dedicated to this kind of thing…


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