By Pat Schneider
May you hear in your own stories
the moan of wind around the corners
of half-forgotten houses
and the silence in rooms you remember.
May you hear in your own poems
the rhythms of the cosmos,
the sun, the moon and the stars
rising out of the sea and returning to it.
May you, too, pull darkness out of light
and light out of darkness.
May you hear in your own voice
the laughter of water falling over stones.
May you hear in your own writing
the strangeness, the surprise of mystery,
the presence of ancestors, spirits,
voices buried in the cells of your body.
May you have the courage to honor
your own first language, the music of those
whose lives inhabit your own.
May you tell the truth and do no harm.
May you dare in your own words to touch
the broken heart of the world.
May your passion for peace and justice be wise:
Remember—no one can argue with story.
May you study your craft as you would study
a new friend or a long-time, much-loved lover.
And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,
drop your own words on the path like pebbles
and write your way home.