Monday, March 15, 2010

In Blackwater Woods - March 15, 2010

...Every year


I have ever learned

in my lifetime

leads back to this: the fires

and the black river of loss

whose other side

is salvation,

whose meaning

none of us will ever know.

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

This is one my favorite poems of Mary's that I use frequently while facilitating memorial services. It seems to capture so well what we evolved to do - to love, to depend on what we love, and then to lose it. We are ever in the process of season's change - seeing the beautiful humming bird sipping from a spring flower, only to know that the triad relationship of flower, bird, and we will not outlive the next month. The moment we love we become vulnerable, and begin the grief of constant separation. The love calls us to know that underneath that grief is a greater truth, we are not alone, and we are one. Herein lies the salvation of our kind, of which we as individuals are but a mote of dust in a spinning galaxy. But boy how we reflect the star's light from which we came.

What have you loved that you have let go?


  1. An ex-husband. Yes, I loved him and what he tried to be, but couldn't. It took me seven years to work through the grief of the lost marriage before I gained the courage to leave him and 'let go'. The children and I did quite well on our own. He was raised in an abusive family and though he said he didn't want that for us, he reverted back to the ways of his family. Because I realized he couldn't function in a family as he had to be in control, first, best and belittle and verbally abuse us, I never had to say anything negative about him to the children. I left before it became physical.
    When the children had to visit him they learned on their own that he couldn't build a relationship.

  2. I wonder if the hardest things to let go of are when we have the choice. In death we have no choice. To work towards life giving relationships and work, we have to let go to change and to grow. Your time with your spouse and the subsequent appears to be like that - a spiritual journey?

  3. I think you are right. It is much easier to understand it looking back than while one is living it.