And Then, Martha Medeiros

Martha Medeiros is a Brazilian Poet. Her poem, You Start Dying Slowly is often attributed to Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, another beloved in my poetry heart.

Another nod of appreciation to friend and colleague Katharine Weinmann for posting this poem recently, “You Start Dying Slowly.” It is a poem that speaks to me to the hunger for living, and the call to welcome life’s wildness in and around us.

You Start Dying Slowly — Martha Medeiros

You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
if you do not listen to the sounds of life,
if you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.
You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colors
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, 
or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice.

3 Replies to “And Then, Martha Medeiros”

  1. “You start dying slowly
    If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,”

    This one lands in me tonight.

    Tomorrow I am facing something that requires me to be brave enough to risk uncertainty and my own doubts within the relationship with my daughter.

    But that’s just the most intense place in which this dynamic occurs. It’s also a learning for me to stand in the place of uncertainty and trust myself, my heart, my body wisdom, the presence of Spirit … to to turn my fears and doubts over to that trust. To rely on “being-with” as my foundation. To remember I am safe, I am loved, I am beloved … and …

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