Tag Archives: friendship

Mary has left us – we will miss you

The Uses of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver

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Ever After

The nighttime sky is a bed of stars, luxuriant in repose, a birthplace for beginnings

and endings

Every thing of beauty, every blooming heart, comes from there

Every thing that is meant to be, every fated ending, goes there.

Most nights, the moment comes for the moon to rise over the trees and friends and lovers find each other in the diffuse light

know each other, embrace each other,

And live happily ever after.

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A Silver Lining

silver lining

A silver lining illuminated a single cloud floating in the sky above my head, noticed first by my companion as we sat basking in late day August sunlight.

It appeared quietly, a visitor I failed to notice,  hanging in the sky and listening to us as we felt our way toward each other across the landscapes of our lives; here describing verdant places, relating stories, there owning up to places withered by neglect or discord,  each describing the sort of unexpected journey that life proffers when we try to live it fully.

He was direct, self-possessed, perhaps stronger and more mature; somewhat anxious, I thought, over where our conversation was taking us.  His eyes rested on the horizon, measuring the sky.

And I was absorbed in the moment:  enjoying his handsome face, the sun, the wine, his stories, the sound of his voice …  indulging in the sum of the moment as the sun sunk in the west, washing the patio in heat and light.

Our afternoon drink ended in a lingering kiss  sweeter than I could have imagined and a parting smile that felt like warm summer rain on my legs.

A silver lining that, credit where it is due, was all his creation on the landscape.

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Theology of Trust


Theology of Trust

When the call comes to announce a soul’s sudden departure; a child’s end

And all I can consider in the moment is

the lives of thankless, lesser mortals  extended far into old age,

The injustice of disease

man’s cruelty and indifference … these things in the landscape that never go away …

and then to close my eyes against the pain, reach out in silent prayer to

an ancient mother-father I neither know or understand, but sense

The mother-father of wishes and dreams

of birth, lovemaking, death …

why? Thank you it wasn’t my child

In this moment I feel so alone and feeble.

And then there is a quiet whisper, almost inaudible

Just against my ear or a faint humming in my mind

Reminding me that apples ripen in their time, unless they are first cut down

By drought or frost

In either case

The fates have their way.  Ripening love or stealing it from us –

All there is for us is to tend our apples and trust.

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Telling Jessica

Along the river the water sparkled and grass bent in a breeze that whispered it was finally safe to tell

The Leaves leaned in, breathing in your patience, listening

There were secrets shut up tight for a long time.  The kind that I did not want to admit to myself, much less speak. Some I understood, others I didn’t.   My heart, tight for so long with the effort of concealing them, willed them out.

I wanted to clamp my hands over my mouth as the little strangers came bustling into the summer sun and stood there, looking naked and pale and staring at me queerly.

Miraculously, Jessica was calm.

The wind slipped over our skin, warmed in the summer sun, mingling quietly with the smell of fresh water and rotting leaves.  Momentary and permanent, the ritual of decay, making religion for us.

Years of friendship buoying us, we shared smaller secrets that were like wildflowers, until my own suddenly seemed to have taken on a more legitimate aspect, now with flowers woven into their hair.

Until finally, hungry and tired, we exited the forest, leaving the protection of the trees behind us.

Some sorrow had moved into the place where the tightness had been; but the door to my heart, tightly shut for so long, opens now.

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