Poetry for Publishers

Sometimes in the rush to finish a chapter on deadline or to get six copies to Paducah by Friday we loose sight of the essence of what we are doing.


Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietanmese monk, writing about how everything is connected expressed it this way:

When you look at this sheet of paper, you think it belongs to the realm of being. There was a time that it came into existence, a moment in the factory it became a sheet of paper. But before the sheet of paper was born, was it nothing? Can nothing become something? Before it was recognizable as a sheet of paper, it must have been something else – a tree, a branch, sunshine, clouds, the earth. In its former life, the sheet of paper was all these things. If you ask the sheet of paper, “Tell me about your adventures,” she will tell you, “Talk to a flower, a tree, or a cloud and listen to their stories.”*

Books are a way of passing along stories, but they are also stories in and of themselves. People outside the world of publishing don’t hear those stories, but they see them in everything we do.

Now, you may be saying to yourself “he’s gone a little woo-woo on us” – and you may be right. We still have to make a buck to stay in business. I believe that how we make a buck matters, and frequently in ways we never see.

Pass it on.

“The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching” (Thich Nhat Hanh) p 137