Friday, December 11, 2015

Albert Huffstickler: "The Cure"

                   We think we get over things.
                   We don’t get over things.
                   Or say, we get over the measles
but not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
The things that become part of our experience
never become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to “get over” a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it,
let the pain be pain,
not in the hope that it will vanish
but in the faith that it will fit in,
find its place in the shape of things
and be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape
and will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That’s what we’re looking for:
not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
without obliterating (getting over) a single
                                                                  instant of it.

"The Cure" by Albert Huffstickler. Text as published in Walking Wounded (Backyard Press, 1989).

Art credit: Untitled image by unknown artist.

Gentle reminder: After a wonderful three-year run, this project will close on January 1. This website and associated social media will remain online as resources.


  1. Yesterday, I gave away a handwritten/copied paper of The Cure. I copied the words in 1996 to read to a class of my yoga students.
    I read and reread it many times. One of these times was at a retreat I was co-hosting and a teary eyed man came up and asked "Did you know Albert?" I did not. He told me a beautiful story of his life and his passing in Austin, Texas.
    Up until that moment, I had always wondered if it was a real name, real person.
    His words stand every test of time and relevance. Thanks for your blog!

    1. I agree--many of his poems are timeless. His work deserves a much wider audience. Glad you're spreading the word! (This poem, by the way, is in our new book, POETRY OF PRESENCE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MINDFULNESS POEMS,


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