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David Diana
Oct 13, 2010

The Boy Who Swallowed A Leopard

Seven years, swimming in visions of children at play. It’s a deafening preoccupation resulting from two boys, ages two and seven, who bound through our home with reckless abandon. Remember those moments when you were trapped within yourself? Filled with anxiety or rage, only to be shaken by the openness of a two-year old boy. You can see the universe within his eyes, as if you’re looking up at stars in the night sky. Whenever I see those big, soft eyes, I’m reminded of a passage from Rilke: “…But it feels its life as boundless,
unfathomable, and without regard
to its own condition: pure, like its outward gaze.
And where we see the future, it sees all time
and itself within all time, forever healed…”

And so…as I look for motivation and strength in my day to day, I hope to reconnect with that “outward gaze” if only for fleeting moments.

These gifts from childhood often pave the way to renewed openness and inspiration. They’re important lessons acted out by children everywhere. Somewhere, at this very moment, a child is sharing this energy with the world.

A young girl is courageously dismissing self-doubt like a lion in hunger.

A boy is dreaming of riding dragons, only to mount them moments later.

A young girl is hosting a fabulous tea party, unaware of endings and beginnings.

Somewhere in the world, a child is touching the hearts of others.

A young girl is beginning her day without a mask, transparent to the light.

A girl, faced with tragedy and unfortunate circumstance, lights up a room with her sense of being and connectedness.

Somewhere in the world, a young boy is seeking council from a wise old man who lives in his daydreams and whispers of possibility.

And somewhere…everywhere, there is a boy who swallows a leopard. His body is dripping in golden light, limitless, expanded, and free. I look upon that child longingly unaware as yet, that it is I.

Find him panting on your doorstep, and absorb the flame.

David P. Diana is a counselor, author, and a director for a behavioral healthcare organization. He writes a weekly blog on sales and marketing for counselors (

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