Healing | Writing About Human Needs


Healing sounds like
wailing, pleading against stone
begging for the hard reality to not be so.

Healing smells like
the earth, turned by fingernails
whose notes of decaying leaves and
fresh grass remind the kneeler of the
never ending cycle of death and birth.

Healing looks like
an effortless smile, the kind that comes from
open and honest curiosity, one that is
released from the muscles that
hold tight to certainty and expectation.

Healing feels like
being able to feel again, not just emotions
but feeling textures, mindfully interacting with
meeting the matter
the surface of the
pen in my hand, the tooth of the paper, the
aggregate in the concrete stoop supporting my feet.

Healing tastes like
moving past comfort food to the hope filled desire to
nourish the vessel, to strengthen the container who is
wise enough to resist the urge to swallow her pain to instead be
transformed by it, enough to want to
taste the earth, her
sweet, savory, and sour superfoods,
unprocessed, because she’s
processed her pain. She’s ready to
live long enough to do it over and over and over and over again.

#294, first in a series, Writing About Human Needs
A new practice I am trying, using poetry and The Needs Wheel from Jim and Jori Manske’s library of resources at http://radicalcompassion.com/ (go to handouts, recordings, notes, etc, and download the Needs Wheel.pdf)

Here is the very simple prompt
Pick a Need from the wheel that you are most interested in at the moment then finish these lines.
________________ (need/value) sounds like
________________ (need/value) smells like
________________ (need/value) looks like
________________ (need/value) feels like
________________ (need/value) tastes like

Rearrange the order and play with the formatting, letting those come from what you learn from the process of writing.
While meditating on a need/value, you may realize that your strategies for getting that need met no longer work. Imagine what it would feel like to have that need met. Allow yourself the curiosity of how you might discover new ways to meet that need.
Reread your piece for revisions, editing, and the possibility of deeper understanding. I just got one of those. Here it is.
My dad and I are not as different as I once thought. He invented and distributed processing equipment. So do I.

Send me your poems and reflections. Let me know if you want me to share them here in this forthcoming series.