I stand on a precipice,
A wide promontory,
Looking across at where I am,
And looking down at where I’ll be.
How will I cross that expanse?
Here there is safety,
Security on this smooth stretching ground.
Below is far and fearsome,
Dangerous and dark.
And yet the disconcerting dizziness,
And come again when I’ve crawled through the valley
And climbed another cliff.
But now, this moment,
As I hike down this hill,
And the change begins, my heart quakes and my fingers shake.
Feelings my limited eloquence cannot convey engulf me.
All that I’ve learned,
All that I am learning,
Fills my eyes and I remember the words that –
“With much wisdom comes much sorrow.”
There’s a kind of ache in the world –
It pervades every atom, every molecule, every breath.
I know, I understand, I comprehend, I grasp,
That the extent of the events of my life do not convey it well.
But the weight presses on me all the same.
Relationships shift and take on new faces.
Some branch and unfurl their leaves but
Remain rooted under their new soil.
But some stretch outward
Becoming thinner with each inch
And their roots grow shallow and brittle.
The time that once stretched on forever and ever,
It melts away and drops out between the fingertips,
Familiar giving way to unfamiliar.
The words don’t pour like water from this fountain pen,
They splish and splot and dot but not often storm.
And the glances that once came this way may have been imagined,
And those dark blue eyes don’t meet these quite so often anymore.
Life is not what it should be.
That I can see in genocides and wars,
Injustices and losses,
Tears and thousands of years of pain.
Nothing is as it should be.
Every fiber of me bristles and shakes and cries.
And yet –
My face is still tilted heavenward.
A strain of music that pours over the ears,
A scent among the pines,
A phrase that weeps,
A look that pierces,
A kind word that softens,
A green upon the hills that hurts the eyes,
A care in a parent’s eyes,
A sweet ‘I love you’ from a little brother,
The words are beginning to come back to me.
The roots that remain thicken and toughen and intertwine.
Time has passed, and continues to,
But it brings new dreams and leaves memories.
The words do still come, not in everlasting torrents, but consistent showers.
And those dark blue eyes do sometimes meet these,
And although it means nothing, surely;
It may mean something.
Give me eyes to see,
Give me honesty,
For I want my response to be,
Worthy of Your beauty.