Jane Hirshfield

A Cedary Fragrance

Even now,
decades after,
I wash my face with cold water –

Not for discipline,
nor memory,
nor the icy, awakening slap,

but to practice
choosing
to make the unwanted wanted.

The first time I heard this poem, at Tassajara which was the inspiration for it, I thought of all the mornings there when I washed my face in cold water, since there are only cold taps in the cabins. And, even now, I still do it every day – I don’t find it unwanted.

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