Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Desiderata



About two years ago I opted for tattoo number two. (Insert pause here to let some of you come to terms with the fact that I am tattooed...twice...so far...) Although I was a grown adult living on my own, paying my own bills with a full time job, a 401K and insurance, my poor Dad CRINGED when I called him to tell him what my 30th birthday present to myself was going to be. His exact words? "WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME THAT?" So we never really talked about it since. Until I went home with tattoo number two. My first one is on my hip so unless I want someone to see it, it's not visible to the general public. But tattoo number two is on my foot. And I'm a barefoot/flip flop kind of girl. So tattoo number two is HIGHLY visible. When Dad saw it for the first time it caught me off guard. We had gone to visit him in Amarillo and I was sitting out on the back porch in my jammies when he got back from the donut shop. He came to sit down with me and from a mile away he said "What is that?" I tried to explain it to him...but I don't think he wanted to know what the word meant so much as what the tattoo meant. And I told him that it was a reminder everyday of what the word represented. 

So here it is...broken down.

de•sid•er•a•tum dɪˌsɪdəˈreɪtəm, -ˈrɑ-, -ˌzɪd-
noun, plural -ta
something wanted or needed.

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

4 comments:

John Michael Tara Shay and Echo Delilah said...

And it is apparent in your life, that you remember this daily Birdie.
You are a pure soul, concerned and touched.
peace be with you love.

joyce said...

beautiful tatoo and meaning! we'll have to ask bub what my reaction was to his first or maybe not. :) we all miss you guys so very much. call when you can.

Anonymous said...

I have the entire Desiderata on my right leg.It goes from my hip to my ankle.It saved..and changed my life.

Anonymous said...

I am the previous "anon"...my email is Anidifan@hotmail.com
I would love to be in touch with others whom the Desiderata has meaning.I spent 6 hours of ink.3 hours prep,to get it inked on my body.