When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
It’s not particularly uplifting. Some might call it cynical. But the final stanza always comes to mind in the moments after I’ve said “yes,” knowing that I mean “no.” I tell myself that the next time the invite is extended I will just say “no.” And I vow not to feel guilty about it, and just accept that it’s not how I want to spend my time.
I’m certain we all struggle with this to some degree. For those of you who can relate I hope this poem gives you a sense of peace.
Life is too short. Hang out with the people who make you feel alive and don’t worry too much about adding new friends. Some people will get you, and some won’t, but the truth is that the people you really need in your life will find their way into it without too much effort on your part.