At the Jesuit Retreat House

At Los Altos, I walked on the

wooded land and did what

was asked of me, trying to

answer this question: “What

gives me meaning?” I walked

and spoke a mantra in

time with my footsteps, like this:


“What gives me meaning

What means me

What meaning do I mean

What meanings mean me

What meanings make me

Make the meat of me

Gives my meat meaning

Give me motion and moment

Makes me still,

Stills me to the moment.

This moment,

This motion,

And stillness

Means me.

Makes me.

Loves me.”


Then I heard a noise as

I crackled through the

dry coastal oak leaves.

It crackled back. A rabbit,

its ears, body, nose, twitching

at me, wondering what I mean

toward his meat, seeking meaning

in my motions, my stillness, knowing

nothing of my love for it.

I could not guess

what it felt or sensed or thought.


We stood still, staring at

each other, frozen in the moment,



for meaning.

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