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Writing and Healing Prompt: A Poem and a Meditation

Posted on Jun 15, 2014 by

What really counts?


“Hurry” by Marie Howe

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store

and the gas station and the green market and

Hurry up honey, I say, hurry hurry,

as she runs along two or three steps behind me

her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?

To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?

Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,

Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—

you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking

back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,

hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.


“Meditation: Make the Best Possible Use of Time” by Matthieu Ricard

Contemplate the passage of seasons, of

the days and months, of each moment, and the

changes that affect every aspect of the life of

beings. Then think about death, which is inevitable

but whose time is uncertain. Who knows

how much time you have left to live? Even if you

live into old age, the latter part of your life will

pass just as fast as the beginning, if not faster.

So you need to consider, in the deepest part of

yourself, what really counts in this life and use

the time left to you to live in the most fruitful

way possible—for your own sake and others.

If you have the wish to meditate and develop

your inner qualities, it is never too soon to start.

Some questions:

What really does count in this life?

How can we weave this glimpse of what counts into our ordinary lives?

And how can we maintain some sense of humor about it while we’re doing so?


The poem, “Hurry,” by Marie Howe is from her book, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.

She reads the poem aloud, along with several others, at a new site I just discovered:

The meditation is from the book, Why Meditate? by Matthieu Ricard, which can be found here.

You can learn more about Matthieu Ricard and his work at and at