The Examined Life

Poem and photo by Laurie Howland

How often do we look at ourselves closely
Not to notice every pore or every wrinkle
But to notice every fine line of who we are


How often do we go through the course of a day
Fulfilling our duties and mundane chores
Without looking at ourselves and noticing
The moments that make our hearts smile


How often do we fall asleep at night
Exhausted from a chaotic day
Stressed from the burdens on our shoulders
And fail to notice all the things to be grateful for


How often do we rise in the morning
To begin our day without stopping to be present
So that all the fleeting moments don’t go unnoticed
Among all the mundane chores, burdens and wrinkles

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