Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Letting go

Mother, I'm letting go.
It's what you did a year ago
Now I know how, I swear
Walking so long in the dark, I arrived
To this now.
I don't have to tell you
The forces that were my life,
You know.

You who could describe the moon
With so much care
And spoke everything - but not of your fear of dying
You knew why flowers grew on grass
To say, "I'm born"
Or that they might spring from crevices of rock to dance with the wind.
Sometimes your words split darkness the way you crack open a rock
Nothing diminished or unseen.
Like the time we described the good and happy life of a friend
And you said, "I know, I know, but he's a hurt person."
He'll never know how you saw into him.
What Thoreau said he longed to do, you did -
Speak "first thoughts,"
While ours lay like cocoons spread in confusion

You never said the reasons for failure - why we get lost
Only that we are, and whether your thoughts spilled like butterflies into air
Or cut like an axe
You never lost the knowledge of center
That the failure to love ourselves deeply enough
Is more or less fatal

Well, the eventual is now
And I am broken like the moon,
Driftwood in the sea of my own drowning

Let me feel the attention you gave
To this world.
(Were you afraid of dying in case what came afterwards took less?)
With the same care you gave all along.
Safe with yourself.
I'm turning now to that shore.

--Constance Greenleaf

Bits of this were bouncing around in my head as I watched this scene, but it took a happy accident yesterday for me to come across the complete poem. It feels presumptuous to think I know anything of what was going through Lynne's mind that day on the anniversary of her mom's passing, but I liked the spirit of this poem, anyway, and was very touched by Lynne's trust in sharing some of her grief with us.

Hugs to you, Lynne.


Jayne said...

What a beautiful photo Laura. More hugs to Lynne from me too...

Mary said...

That's a a lovely gift of friendship for Lynne.

NCmountainwoman said...

Very moving post. Beautiful picture and lovely poem.

Susan Gets Native said...

That was beautiful, Laura. It fits so perfectly. It took guts for Lynne to a. come all the way to NJ on that sad day and b. to share her feelings with us.

Hugs to Lynne from me, too.

bruss1510 said...

More hugs to you, Lynne from me. Beautiful poem and poignant picture, Laura.


Lynne said...

Laura, this took my breath away.
I had some hurting times over the weekend and even though I might have been more comfortable grieving at home, I knew it was better for me to be there. It was important for me to be there on a very deep level. You and Jay, Susan, Kathi and Delia, all helped hold me up. My words aren't enough to tell you how grateful I am.

LauraHinNJ said...

I loved this pic of Lynne!

There's also a really nice one of Lynne and Susan looking pensive and a couple with Jay waving his hands at the sky...

(wondering what bit of wisdom was being shared then...)

Dearest Lynne... I'm a firm believer in sentimental acts and the power they hold in our memory. There was a time, at last year's weekend, with the sun higher in the sky but we (Susan, Susan G, Delia and me) were at the beach and thinking of you in your sadness. This year felt like a turn of all of that was meant to be.

In all the year's since my mom passed, there's not an anniversary that passes without my thinking of it and reflecting on all that's come between.

I hope that whatever you were praying into that sunset for your mom will stay with you.

Glad we strangers were there to hold you up.


Anonymous said...

Hi - I recently lost my mother and came across this poem at the Sculptures of Gardens in NJ this summer. It is touching and each time I read it brings a new meaning. I found your website searching more about this poem - and I can see it deeply touched you and your friend Lynn -
thank you for posting and sharing this with us

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for your comment, Denise and the chance to look again at this post.

Peace to you.