“The real role of leadership…is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.”
Falling in love with you
has left me falling apart.
Pieces of me, old pieces, worn pieces
distorted and degraded pieces
keep falling away.
Parts of me that don’t know how to love, that
don’t know how to listen, how to be patient,
how to reach for kindness through fury and
blinding frustration; those parts of me
keep falling away.
Like a tree in the winter, I shed my withered leaves,
as my foliage
Like a snake growing, molting, renewing and healing,
my outer shell
Like a young butterfly searching, pushing, forcing
my way out of the darkness,
And out of the fallen, discarded pieces and parts of me
steps a being
born of love
born of faith
born of the will to keep, forever,
falling in love
When I was young
and a boy
broke my heart
for the very first time
I called my older brother
and begged him to come save me.
“Hurt him,” I said.
“Yell at him.”
“Beat him up.”
“Make him suffer the way I’m suffering now.”
My brother held my hands,
kissed my head,
wrapped me in his love
“You can handle this.”
“Whatever you need done,
you can do for yourself.”
“You don’t need me to save you.”
“You are strong.”
“You’re gonna be okay.”
“You’ll always be okay,
even if I’m not here.”
He was right.
“Ask me whether what I have done is my life” is a line from the poem “Ask Me” by William Stafford.
I read it for the first time when reading the first chapter of Parker J. Palmer’s book Let Your Life Speak.
In it, he talks about his realization that:
“…it is indeed possible to live a life other than one’s own.”
While some might dismiss this as an abstract concept, a poetic or philosophical musing, for others it is a heartbreaking reality.
When I ask myself this question, whether this life I have lived and am living is my own, I…I don’t know.
My answer is simply, and perhaps sadly, I do not know.
Some of it is. Much of it isn’t. That’s my first attempt at an answer.
But how do I know? I can hardly tell what my life is, or could be. The idea of “my” life has been buried so far under layers and layers of other lives it seems distorted, colored, mangled, and voiceless.
Palmer says that letting one’s life speak means endeavoring to live the life that wants to live in you.
That, I’m guessing, takes quiet, patience, compassion, and lots of honest listening.
According to Palmer, it’s about seeking wholeness.
I would love to feel whole. I would love to show my daughter an example of someone who moves through the world in wholeness, compassion, and grace.
Who knows. Perhaps that’s what my daughter has come to show me.
Whatever your journey is, good luck and may your life be your own.
I will be
in the raging ocean waves.
I will be
in howling winds.
I will be
your warmth on the
darkest, coldest nights;
your shelter from
the hottest, fiery blaze.
… a poem about depression.
Oh, my familiar friend,
I would tear your tongue out
for how you speak to me
but for the elegant truths your lies
come dressed in.
I would walk away, never looking back,
but you wrap me in such utter,
my skin feels warm against
the ice in my bones.
When you sweep me off my feet
and take me to the bitter edge
I beg you just let me fall,
but that sweet release
isn’t why you came.
You, my demon sweetheart, are the best
at the worst kind of seduction.
Your crippling love won’t leave
me in peace.
A poem to ring in the new year. Happy New Year everyone!!
His bright, brown puff of a tail flicked the window, beckoning me to feeding time. He always came in the afternoon, a little bit twitchy, a little bit daring, always hungry for almonds. Or pumpkin seeds. Or whatever I had on hand. His comrade came in the mornings, silent and slow and never as eager to beg but always willing to sit and share in my company. The afternoon squirrel came only for food.
Once full, he’d bury any excess nuts in my various potted plants, tearing up my precious soil. In his defense, I always let him. Rarely would he linger. He’d never stand and stare, resting on his hind legs with his front paws crossed over his belly like a gentleman. His little whiskers never curled into an imaginary smile, nose turned up as in laughter.
No, not the afternoon squirrel. He flits about, anxious, never still, always hungry. Certainly always fed. He was the heavier of the two.
The morning squirrel comes and sits as if invited for breakfast. He waits politely for the food to be placed before him, served to him, rather than over-eagerly sniffing fingertips. Sometimes he’ll sniff the plants in greeting. Often he’ll stare into the house imagining the unending pile of nuts that must reside inside, but never is he bold enough to knock.
No, not the morning squirrel. He simply visits for a time like a neighbor passing leisurely by, making his way home before the sun gets too high.
I loved the morning squirrel. When I left that happy home I missed him most of all. I think of him often, his paws crossed over his belly, his imaginary smile. I left my potted plants behind in the hope that both might enjoy the nuts inside.
Wanna see this poem in print? Find it on RedBubble!
Tell me who you are and I will listen. Tell me all your dreams and I believe. Live your deepest truth and I’m inspired. Never be afraid of being seen.