Elderly Couple on the Bus

Featured

They wore their years like jewelry-
They loved without disguise,
Their silence was a melody
Reflected in their eyes.

White hair that shone like heaven
Crowned each of their heads.
Their comfortable presence
Spoke of the years they’ve tread.

That smile they shared so gently
So unplanned, so divine
Had been clearly rehearsed daily
Since the beginning of their time.

There was no swell of music-
No violins did play,
No fantastic illusion
To accompany this display-

But I couldn’t speak so clearly
With every word I know,
And I couldn’t love so dearly
With everything I show.

Advertisements
Featured

Unpacking

I’m a great packer.

I’ve had a lot of practice, every time I move apartments. As a regular bus commuter and a seasoned traveler, I’m very portable. I have an almost Mary Poppins-level talent for backpack stuffing.

However, I’m a terrible unpacker.

This fall I moved to a new apartment, a two-bedroom. When I arrived, it was empty and unfurnished so I’ve had the opportunity to set it up how I want. I worked hard at it because I plan to be there a long time. I was especially proud of how my little kitchenette and living room were coming along, perfect for hosting. I was finally living light and being organized. It was like a fresh start!

However, the second bedroom- not in use as I didn’t have a roommate yet- had become a “staging area” for all my extra boxes. Half or more of my possessions, as it turns out, are “extra”. These boxes contain things that are not necessary, and yet they are not trash. There are boxes upon boxes of things like handbags that need repair, books I never read, binders of old sheet music, and random knickknacks tinged with nostalgia.

I had glanced through those boxes in the past, throwing away what was clearly trash and giving away the nicer things to Goodwill. I had vague plans to unpack and use all the “extras”, but I never did. I didn’t want to ruin the clean, crisp efficiency of my new apartment. More importantly, I could not derail the the capable, independent and organized person I was becoming. I closed the door on those extra boxes. I kept them where no one could see, but they continued to fester in the back of my mind.

Then- uh oh!- someone was coming to check out the space. I didn’t want them to look in their future room and see all my extra stuff! I was galvanized into action. I peeked in all the boxes as if expecting the items to suddenly become more useful. I looked around at my apartment, willing more shelf space to magically appear. In the end I just shunted half of the boxes into my bedroom and the other half into an empty corner of my living room.

It was a lot of work to carry all those boxes one by one across the apartment. It got me thinking, why on earth do I keep all this? How many other unnecessary things do I hold onto in my life- neatly packaged and shoved into corners where no one can see?

That night as I fell asleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I watched nervously from my bed as my cat climbed to the top of a high box stack, hoping it would not topple on me in the middle of the night. Holding on to these “extras” certainly could produce unintended consequences!

So many of these boxes hold things I might have thought I’d use at one time, but I didn’t. That hobby never took; that identity never stuck. Like holding onto clothes you no longer fit, you feel guilty enough to keep it but you never would wear it. Looking at it makes you feel icky.

At the same time, getting rid of this stuff feels scary. “What if I need it sometime?” “Wouldn’t tossing it be a waste?” I think, of these things that I have hardly touched for years. I guess it just feels nice to have the option of using them. It’s a sort of security blanket to cling to.

I can’t keep filling the corners of my life with stacks of boxes. I need to stop telling myself that hiding things away is the same as letting them go. The boxes in my apartment I know I can manage, but the boxes I’m stowing in my heart will take much longer to sort. It will be scary, it will be vulnerable, it will be messy. But afterwards it will be so much lighter, so much space for better things.

 

file-1

A life

A good ramble needs no map.

Each wandering path should pull you

Gently downstream to yet another unexpected

Vista.

The question mark curve should guide you around

The next corner,

Down the next channel where

Secrets and discoveries await.

For you, carefree explorer,

It is all new.

You are young

In the ways of this land

Stretching ever forward.

Your soul stays still

but your feet pull

More of the world into your senses.

We only float

On the surface unless

We stare deep, listen hard, step forward

Into the unknown.

Many feet have tread the same or different.

Many minds have wondered and wandered here,

Many hearts have felt the same push and pull-

But God creates it again

Just for you.

Winter Morning Walk

I took a walk and watched the

Sodden branches nod their burdens off,

The early morning crisp relinquishing

Kingship to a winter afternoon.

It’s half-spring and yet a

Single snowflake could tip the scales again

Back into marshmallows gently bobbing

In cocoa clasped religiously by frozen hands.

The creek still rushes by

Fed by steady drips of passing hours and

One day

We’ll melt away too.

Unexpected Chemistry

Unexpected chemistry

Came long after our chances

Passed us by-

I traced the edges of my

Hesitant heart and found instead

An impression of your smile.

Unpretentious poetry

That springs forth from the deep wells

Of my mind-

I held my secret gently

Like a bird with broken wings yet

Never let it see the sun.

Not suspecting treachery,

The guards were sleeping at their

Posts, until-

They woke with sudden haste and

Realized much too late that it was

You, I loved you all along.

I heard the twang of a lonely guitar

I heard the twang of a lonely guitar

Echoing across the street.

I wondered if, wherever you are

You ever think of me?

So many steps-

Some lead and some follow,

So many regrets-

That we tied to tomorrows.

Like poetry we fled across the page

To try to make sense of our love and our rage-

Possibilities flew by, fantastic performers

That we let pass us by and then swept into corners.

To fit what we are into what we might be.

To shine like a star when inward we bleed.

Eclipse

The sky was dyed black with sudden precision

As the moon stopped the Sun with its gentle collision-

We stood there transfixed with no fear in our eyes

To stare at the sight and to realize

That no matter how worried our minds may be,

No matter how deep our troubles may seem:

That nothing could stop that flutter in our hearts,

That moment of bliss that beauty imparts.