Resist bad government but don’t resist
the moment you’re in. Those stalled intervals
of waiting, try to inhabit them — inside
the skin of your impatience is a wine
of living pressed from the grapes of every
moment leading up to this one. Don’t push
yourself out of the picture, try instead
to widen the frame. Don’t go flying into
hating where you are, for you may miss some
opportunity for unexpected love.
Don’t refuse to occupy your body
even for a second, because life in
the flesh is the crown jewel of the universe.
Don’t shove down thoughts, neglect feelings,
or redact the only page of time on which your story
is written. Stay awake to the present
and don’t get stuck sideways in some door
to the future. Resist much, obey little —
Whitman said that. I say, don’t miss out on this
one time when all your trillions of cells
have gathered to throw the party that is you.
—Thomas R. Smith