It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.
It went on.
— Jane Hirshfield, from her poem: It Was Like This: You Were Happy
October 31, 2021—Waning crescent moon in Virgo;the celebration of Samhain/Halloween.
How are you? How are the trees and mosses, rivers and raptors where you are?
I'm easing into the slower fall rhythm here, tucked under oak and sycamore trees filling this land with drifting leaves while the sky is full of raptors on their autumn migration.
The light at this time of year brings me to speechless wonder most days. I'm deeply grateful for that. I've needed these infusions of restorative awe.
. . .
This year, summer for my family and I was long, hard, and messy. (Hence the lack of letters landing in your inbox. Folks who subscribed during that time—thank you for your patience!)
Life just kept relentlessly lobbing situations (mostly medical, financial, and existential) at me and I couldn't see how overwhelmed I was until I had enough breathing space to pull my face off the floor so I could see how overwhelmed I was. (!)
I know I'm not the only one.
I know many of you are navigating similar waters.
I'm thinking of all of us. Thinking about how we're in good company, even if we don't know it.
. . .
As I write this, things have steadied a bit in my world.
We'll see what happens in the coming days and weeks. As Jane Hirshfield* says in the poem excerpt above, "It went on." And so it does.
It's probably no surprise to any of you that I read a raft of poetry between and around dealing with the messes. As far as I'm concerned, poems are portable, lifesaving devices—defibrillators whose current is the flow of words and images.
. . .
Stuffed with poems, I found myself thinking about how words arranged in surprising ways sing us these unexpected pathways into places we may not know we need to go, but discover that, in fact, we do.
Through all this I noticed two things I cannot do without:
My personal writing practice. (I continue my obsession with tiny poems.)
Writing and sharing words with women. (You're welcome to woo restorative quietude by writing with me third Saturday mornings. Email me at email@example.com and I'll send you the details.)
I'm really looking forward to spending time with you again through these letters. I hope to see you in a third Saturday writing circle soon!
Until next time,
*You can read the full text of Jane Hirshfield's poem by clicking on this link.