I want to be surprised today.
Surprise is the garden soil
from which joy arises.

Planning pushes wonder out of the way
and plants instead well-traveled ruts.
I see only what I expect to see
and hear only familiar sounds.
The world is what it’s always been,
and people behave as automatons,
saying and doing what they’ve
always said and done.

But surprise; that changes everything.
It hides in each and every moment,
yet I pass these moments with such speed
that surprise has no time
to jump out and yell its name.

I want to be aware today
of all the things I don’t expect.
What, this morning, will I see
I didn’t plan on seeing?
What sounds resound
I haven’t heard before?
What thoughts might come, unbidden,
and alter the very nature
of my life?

Some surprises, it is true,
are not what I would want to see.
But, strangely, these contain the paradox
of some unexpected thought.
Unpleasant intrusions force fresh ideas,
and birth creative actions.

Joy Itself is hidden in surprise.
A glass of cold water in the face
wakes me up and says, “Look here!”
I look, and wonder follows wonder
throughout the moments of my day.
I want to be surprised today.

Author: William Martin

Taoist teacher and consultant

One thought on “Surprise!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: