Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Restlessness

Death and The Kookaburras

First, a poem from me, a few comments, and a poem from Mary Oliver.

One loss at a time
The challenge is laid down
So transparently
The message cannot
Be mistaken

It’s time to let go
To hold each day lightly
To give up great expectations
And the hope of getting
To the top of Mt. Everest
Or even within its foothills

Yet my body and soul
Cry out for more –
More time
More energy
More beauty
More music
As greed sets in
Along with hunger
For what I think
I’ve lost
Or never had

I’ve been unusually restless this past week. It was wonderful to connect with my new palliative care doctor on the phone. Now I’m waiting for my first face-to-face conversation, and find I’m uneasy.

Is this really what my life has come to? Something in me wants to hang on just a bit more, even though I know it’s time to begin letting go and shifting my attention and energy to what’s yet possible. On the other hand, who knows what Mt. Everest I’ll yet climb or even fly above in ways I never dreamed of.

Mary Oliver’s poem “The Kookaburras” has haunted me for the past week.

In every heart there is a coward and a procrastinator
In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting
to come out of its cloud and lift its wings.
The kookaburras, kingfishers, pressed against the edge of
their cage, they asked me to open the door.
Years later I wake in the night and remember how I said to them,
no, and walked away.
They had the brown eyes of soft-hearted dogs.
They didn’t want to do anything so extraordinary, only to fly
home to their river.
By now I suppose the great darkness has covered them.
As for myself, I am not yet a god of even the palest flowers.
Nothing else has changed either.
Someone tosses their white bones to the dung-heap.
The sun shines on the latch of their cage.
I lie in the dark, my heart pounding.

©Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems, Vol. One, p. 87
Published by Beacon Press , Boston, 1992

That’s the challenge, isn’t it? The struggle between hanging on and letting go of what we were never meant to imprison. Not ourselves, not other people, and not kookaburras who just want to fly home to their river.

I want to let my spirit, my soul fly home. I also recognize the coward and procrastinator in me, wanting to say no, and walking away without unlatching the cage.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 July 2019
Photo found at australianmuseum.net.au

Thoughts drift in and out

Thoughts drift in and out
Restless and murky
On the edge of
Something not yet
Articulated

My mind waits impatiently
For the penny to drop
into a swirling sea of
Unclaimed possibilities

The juke box won’t wait
It wants to dance now
Drowning my heart with
Aches and longing for
What never was

Sitting up straight
I turn the rusty key
And find one thing
Remains –
I want to go home
Even if it died
Just yesterday

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 May 2019
Photo found at pinterest.com – Foggy Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains

Sleepless

At the Back of the North Wind Flying

From my journal on Sunday, at 4:15am:

Sleep has vanished. I’m restless, uncomfortable, still taking in the reality that I have 3 weeks (not 2!) to go yet with the wires. And that I’m nearly 10 pounds below my ‘normal’ 112 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Not Far to Go

Here’s a little gem from Amy Carmichael.  It reminds me of every child’s question, “Are we there yet?”

Not Far to Go

It is not far to go,
For Thou are near;
It is not far to go,
For Thou are here;
And not by traveling, Lord,
We come to Thee,
But by the way of love;
And we love Thee.

Amy Carmichael, Mountain Breezes:  The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael, p. 16.  © 1999, The Dohnavur Fellowship, published by Christian Literature Crusade.  First published in Edges of His Ways (1955) and Gold Cord (1932)

I used to think a day would come when I had truly ‘arrived.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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