Sun on the HorizonPhoto by Sylvia Boorstein

Sylvia Boorstein always carries one poem with her, no matter where she goes. It's by Pablo Neruda. He asks us to slow down, be in each other's presence in the face of the whirlwind of activity that often overtakes our lives. On this Mother's Day, in some odd way, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to listen to Ms. Boorstein reciting these lovely lines in front of a live audience in suburban Detroit.

Keeping Quiet
by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

—from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974)

Share Your Reflection

27Reflections

Reflections

What a wonderful gift to share on Mother's Day! Thank you!

As I see it, the problem with the human species is called, "Anthropocentism," the entrenched, inherited view that humans are master over all, owner of earth, possessing inalienable rights to do what we will, with a total lack of respect for the lives, habitat, social order, of all other living systems in nature. Our commodity view of natural "resources" for what economic value they bring, at the cost of destroying everything , is in dire need of transfiguration.

Our religious leaders appear afraid to guide their flocks away from a self designed cliff. The human foot print on our planet, unlike our animal brethren, is proving to be toxic. Pythagoras said, " For as long as man continues to be the destroyer of other living beings, he will never know HEALTH OR PEACE. For as long as man massacres animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain, cannot reap joy or love." While we laud all our advancements in science and technology, the darker side of both is upon us. Our arrogance as a species comes full circle. Please watch Earthlings and The Ghosts in Our Machine.

I had forgotten this poem - thank you for giving it back! the whole program was a treasure, but this -

Krista I have heard this interview before but it was today that I realized what I was searching for

Love this. I may carry it with me, and share now and then.

Krista I keep the radio on all night so that I do not miss your show on Sunday mornings. I have heard the interview with Sylvia Boornstein before but it was not until today, that I realized what I was missing

I love this poem.

It seems that with each positive quote and comment that people have "shared" on face book, there has been this desire to express what Pablo Neruda has so beautifully written. Now I have a poem that I will carry with me forever too.

Brilliant! Thank you, Krista!

I've listened to your show since before it became "On Being" and I thank you for all the guests who have shared their experiences with us from charting the universe in which we live, to understanding the Kingdom within. I've enjoyed journeying with you Krista, and I look forward to learning more and practicing kindness, especially when it must be exercised with firmness.

Krista: from the moment I discovered your program I cannot wait until Sundays. I will handwrite the poem and keep it in my purse. I will copy it in Spanish though which is my mother language. Thank you again. Alejandra in Mexico.

A beautiful lament.

Inspiring, mindfull

In our Appalachian culture, our Christian, Baptist culture, and by our humble parents and family, we had kindness drilled and given to us as a duty and reqirement, and I came to see that it is indeed a virtue and practice that we are so lucky, as children, now adults, now old, to have been showed and taught.

In our Appalachian culture, our Christian, Baptist culture, and by our humble parents and family, we had kindness drilled and given to us as a duty and reqirement, and I came to see that it is indeed a virtue and practice that we are so lucky, as children, now adults, now old, to have been showed and taught.

The first conversation I listened to was with a Lady Rabbi from California. Todays program - as if I need a reminder! - reminds me why I listen weekly. My friends know that from 7pm-8pm on Sundays I am with you. Thank you.

Beautiful thoughts from Sylvia and poem of Pablo Neuda.

There were 3 differences in the reading by Sylvia in contrast to this print version-were they errors or changes from a different versions?

Thank you for this lovely gift. I so look forward to your Sunday morning show. I"ve learned so much, and followed through on some of your guests, reading their books, etc.

Thank you so much for your wonderful program. I look forward to it every week, This was an especially meaningful poem

Just lovely! Thanks for sharing

This is so beautiful and meaningful.

So beautiful. Thank you . Maybe it could be possible.

The perfect poem for our times. A perfect reminder of how we need to have Jean Shinoda Bolen's Millionth Circle. Let us gather together in silence and in peace sharing our circles of infinity

Finally, The solution.

Sylvia's recitation differed slightly from the poem. Which is the correct version?

my best poem.

Would"not" look at his hurt hands.