Sunday, December 4, 2016

#SOL16: Coming Home

Woods (M.A. Reilly, 2013, Ringwood, NJ)
Woods II (M.A. Reilly, 2013, Ringwood, NJ)

                                                                    ...If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
                                                                    You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
                                                                    Where you are. You must let it find you.

                                                                              - David Wagoner, Lost (from here).


Grief is less like a terrible thing that has happened and more like an unlocked room we can't seem to leave, until we do.
Grief is a reoccurring conversation we stumble into and out of across the distances that have formed in our heads.


Grief is always present tense.


Some days, when grace fails to find purchase among the raw remembrances that have grown bodies and wings, our first instinct will be to build a wall between us and our memories.

But don't.

Memory is liquid.
It seeps beneath time and intention and (sometimes) greets us with its sweetness.


Grief is more skin than cloth.
A sparse comfort we gather round us as seasons slip by.

And though this pain is caustic as it is beautiful--what smarts the most is how understanding does not right our world, regardless of how hard we wish it so.


Grief forms us. It pulses, confirming our breath, our beating heart.

Pádraig Ó Tuama warns, "Don't let the terrible narrative be the thing that holds you...You may find your home in the very place you thought you'd have to leave."


Tell all the heart.
We are courageous.
We are staying.

Tell it now when we are most scared.

Say it with intention.

Say it here
                  among those
                  who stand so very still
                                                        knowing home will find us whole.


  1. What a post to read and re read and digest.
    It's been so good to share this most difficult journey. So good...

    1. A few lines that have been running through my head. It is good to share this with you and others who offer perspective, kindness, feeling.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Deb. A handful of words that were rattling around in my mind as I was walking.

    2. Your rattling words turn into such poetry!

  3. I often wondered where you had gone.

    Now I know. Me too. Thank you for posting.

    I wrote a few short pieces in my grief. The first one is in 'Kaaps'- the (South African) Cape dialect of Afrikaans:

    1. Smart Love

    Hoe wiet djy (tr. How do you know)
    Dis 'true love' (it's true love?)

    Dit smart (it smarts - used in Kaaps as in English, but it sounds more 'clipped' in Kaaps with no 's'.

    2. Ancestor worship

    What the mlungus call ("mlungu" is an uncomplimentary term for white colonials in East Africa)
    "ancestor worship"
    is not 'worship' at all
    its respect.

    A way of keeping
    a little piece
    of what they were, alive
    to accompany you on your travels
    and to pass on for others to cherish, too.


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