Tuesday, July 20, 2010


"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anais Nin

Maureen at Writing without Paper shared information today about Meg Wheatley's new book:  Perseverance.  Maureen does a lovely job of introducing the book which will be out in September.

Characteristic of Meg, she is generously offering a free 8-week email taste of the new book which you can sign up by clicking here.

Perseverance is an important topic, one that we sometimes put aside because it normally means keeping on even when times get tough.  But that's when perseverance is most needed.  Several years ago I wrote a poem on Perseverance after I saw the Chinese ideogram in a catalog.  I thought I needed it then but I've found it's a reoccurring need, so every so often I re-read the poem to strengthen my decision to keep on keeping on.  Here it is and may it bring you strength also.


Two hundred years ago today Nanzan brushed
perseverance on a scroll and added his chop.
Did he know I would need that message
on this very day when my spirit dropped?
What was he doing on that day
long ago that focused him so
on this one word among all others?
I see him sitting there, brush in hand,
ink pots ready, rice paper stretched flat:
His heart dripping rejection onto the paper,
His mind retracing the long, circular track.
What dream had just died?  What
long-held belief turned brown on that
winter day?  Which lover walked away?
See him as his chest rises on a deep
inhale and releases in a day-long sigh.
He looks around, sees what no longer is,
Picks up his brush and puts away why.
What brings him back to this place 
of paper and ink?  What solace is there
in this forming of art from pain?
We see him bent over the page, characters
flowing, his graceful, steady hand 
sending his only gift down the days and
hours straight into the waiting pool of our minds.         

What bridge carries his touch across two
hundred years to give me the strength
to pick up my choices once more?
(c) Joyce Wycoff, 2007


  1. Joyce, how kind of you to mention my feature. Thank you.

    Do you know Meg Wheatley?

    I was drawn to the lovely art in the book, as well as the wonderful words. The characters for perseverance are among the illustrations. And speaking of art, what a great image you offer here!

    Your poem is a delight to read, too.

  2. Ah yes, perseverance.

    I'm glad you persevered with your poem and brought it here for all of us to appreciate and be inspired by.

    Great image! Intriquing.