Posted in self-improvement, spiritual/religious

Instructions for the New Year….


Stuck a little more than half way through a book of short stories and poems by Neil Gaiman in his book, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, it this gem of a poem. In his notes, he wrote that these are the instructions required when you find yourself stuck in a fairytale. However, I find it the poem to be great metaphorical advice for daily living. Please enjoy a portion of it as we end one year and begin another.

Touch the wooden gate in the wall

You never saw before

Say “please” before you open the latch

Go through

Walk down the path.


A red, metal imp hangs from the

Green-painted front door

As a knocker

Do not touch it; it will bite your fingers

Walk through the house

Take nothing

Eat nothing.


However, if any creation tells you that it hungers,

Feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

Clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

If you can,

Ease its pain.




Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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