I am sharing this piece on the blog today — in raw, unedited form — by request.
There is much I could say about it, especially with the holidays upon us and so many struggling to get through what for them is anything but a wonderful time of year. Especially with a world endlessly careening from one calamity and crisis to another. And especially with our tendency to skate the surface of our grief, compartmentalize it, keep its messiness at arm’s length.
Instead, I will simply say thank you to Roger Housden, author, writing guide and curator of the “Ten Poems” series of books, who created the space at a recent workshop in Delaware for these words to roam free. To those who found in them some echo of their own journey that weekend and all of you wading through the hinterlands of your own sorrow, bless your tender, courageous hearts.
Deep down inside, I want to drop through this sadness
give it all the space it needs to spread
its brokenness and warmth.
I want to move past the flickers, the flash that surprises
moving through the ordinary,
to hold it close
the full weight that longs for the peeling back
of layer after layer
to pierce the shadow that haunts, laden
with liberating truth.
Deep down inside, I want to cry
for hours, for days, unfold
into the guttural wail
the wracked fire of love yearning
to know its other face.
I want the sobbing breath,
the carving out of a pregnant dark
where the bells toll for sorrow
after sorrow, loss after loss,
the unspeakable and the known given voice,
unraveled and spun into something healed and
made whole so that spent at last, this grief
a clarion emptiness, I can touch the cracked seed
that sings of sweet rebirth.