One Single Impression: Gift

My mother gave me a gift
In passing
One day long ago:

Don't ask people questions,

she said;

People will tell you what

They want you to know.

What they want you to know

They want you to know what

They want you to know

So I don't ask questions.

I let the stories find me.

Stories? Yes.
They are people

Always people who don't much bother

With the where and the when

And often not very much even with the who

They start with the what--

What happened

What happened to them

What they made happen

But they don't stay there very long

Always they are interested
In the why of the thing

And if these stories are my friends
We look for it together,

Always and forever
And without ever asking

Seeking to know why.

One Single Impression


  1. Sandy, I like your poem. There is a reminder for us.

    The mother had a very valuable gift for the child. By it, she taught the lesson of not listening for the gossippy what, but rather the soul searching why.

    Thank you,

  2. I enjoy your deep poem, Sandy. as always, there much to reflect on.

  3. Anonymous1:26 AM

    please pray for me :(

  4. I admire all your poems, Sandy. You always make me think....and feel.

  5. I particulary like this poem.
    It has a serenity in it, I like verry much!

  6. Definitely the greatest gift, there.

  7. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Such a simple wisdom, beautifully expressed, and good advice in this age of "info-tainment"

  8. I kind of disagree. Many people are waiting for someone to ask them a meaningful question and to show interest in their life. Otherwise we all stay in our own little worlds. That's one thing I like about Caryn-she asks penetrating probing questions that show she cares and then she listens...

  9. This is beautiful. Again.

    Seek to know why.
    If you find why, then move to when.
    Timing is everything.
    And nothing.

    Wonderful, thought provoking, thank you...

  10. Anonymous11:36 PM

    hey,i want to invite you to join us


  11. Your poem beautifully explores the contrast between fickle detail and intrinsic detail! Loved these thoughts!

  12. You can miss many stories by not asking questions though...

  13. Anonymous2:28 AM

    Ahh,a mother's words of wisdom-
    excellent poetry.
    Thank you for sharing.

  14. I'm afraid that I may not have learned this lesson, Sandy! I always seem to have so many questions that must be asked!

    As Jim says, there are the gossipy questions and then there are the real questions. A good listener and a real friend would never engage in the gossippy what.

  15. How true! I'm like your mom and figure people will tell me what they want me to know too, so I don't typically ask questions either.

    Love your way with words. :)

  16. The more time I spend in service ministries, the more I hear, "Don't talk, listen. Just be present." The more retreats I go to, the more I hear, "Just be present in the moment." The more I practice these two things, the more at peace I am. I don't ask as many questions, now I receive more answers and they are sometimes very surprising.

  17. Your poem touched me deeply Sandy. My eyes are welling up with tears.
    I continue to learn from my mom's words even now after she has passed on. What a gift this is to remain forever.

    You have beautifully expressed this wisdom and this wonder.Thank you.

  18. Everyone has a story to tell and their voices are utterly genuine and honest when they speak it freely and openly, come to think of it that is the idea behind psychotherapy.

  19. Again, you've touched my soul with this one. So much to think about with this poem. Thanks Sandy, for sharing. Take Care.

  20. I let the stories find me--this is an amazing poem, and I agree with its sentiment. Very deep and moving.

  21. very nice sandy. it catches a lot of lessons. something very important that each person should reflect on.

  22. Great poem Sandy. Very insightful. Thanks for sharing. Pappy

  23. Anonymous2:37 PM

    One... singular sensation...


  24. Anonymous4:05 PM

    I like your poem.Sandy

  25. Great wisdom here. We are all stories looking to be explored, discovered, understood, seen and heard. I think often silence and compassion carry the questions without our actually asking them and open the door for people to let the answers come.

  26. Great post. One of you most valuable assets is the ability to listen more and talk less.

  27. I think there is a lot of wisdom in this poem. Excellent thought and it give one a lot to think about.

  28. Definitely says a lot.

  29. Interesting and thought-provoking, as always. ;-)

  30. A wise and well-written reminder! Nice work...

  31. Anonymous1:28 PM

    A person's story is always a valuable treasure. It has been my experience that some people need encouragement to share their story. I enjoyed your poem very much.

  32. Anonymous3:42 PM

    I love this...

  33. Wonderful poem, Sandy. I really admire you. You write so beautifully, and have such important lessons to impart.

  34. Anonymous7:59 PM

    ..the psychology of this poem is delicate -sensitively treated..many thanks sandy..

  35. wow!i guess we alwasy seek to find answers in many things, its a matter of how one poses and frame teh question

  36. I like the idea of having the stories find you ... lovely poem. JP/deb

  37. In good therapeutic practice, the practitioner doesn't ask 'why' because there's no answer to such a question...

    Thanks for this, Sandy--

  38. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Loved this one.

  39. Yes, their stories can fill us up, told bit-by-bit.

  40. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Something to remember, especially with kids.

  41. Anonymous8:05 PM

    sandy, that is so, so the truth...let the story speak...that is truly beautiful... people are the amazing story

  42. your mom's wisdom is now a gift for all of us. most people just want someone to listen (like one of your earlier BYB posts) in a non-obtrusive way, a way that says i care about you.


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