my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Sunday, August 3, 2014


 I was looking through earlier posts, something I have not done in years. I ran across these two poems I had posted together in April 2011. It is ironic to read these now, having made the decision to end my marriage of 37 years. At that point, I would not have guessed I'd have the courage to make that change. This is why poetry is so valuable to me. The same poem, read years later from a whole new place takes on different meaning. I considered the poems powerful and relevant then, but now these speak volumes to me. If you remember reading them before, do these poems have new meaning for you too?

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O'Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Mary Oliver

(Dream Work & New and Selected Poems Vol. 1)


marie-jo said...

Through this ordeal with Pierre, and all these tasks, and all these obligations, I am paradoxically finding a new liberty. (Well, I am totally in charge and I love it.) I am also finding the woman I know intimately. There are initiatives and risks I have taken, decisions I have had to make on my own, orders I have given. I feel so damn comfortable ---so damn at home-- with all this, even if at the end of the day, I am exhausted. I have gone to places I didn't know I would visit. Inner places, sad places, places of joy, places of doubt, places of anger, despair, hope, places of beyond and back. Tough times open up new spaces. If one faces them, they break walls. So, yes, Oliver and Donahue's poems both speak to me quite differently these days.

pkcyphert said...

I am so proud of you, Marie. It is empowering to face challenges head on and discover untapped energy, strength, and wisdom. I am back from a camping trip and loving the autonmy and sense of accomplishment in doing what I choose to do. I'm glad you are experiencing similar feelings.