From Here to Here

From Here to Here February 16, 2015


I’m blessed to be part of a mens group that has been meeting for eight years. We’ve become very close. One of us, Don, describes our closeness this way, “I am living in a trust that now deeply shapes my life.” Once a year, we have a retreat together. After this year’s retreat, I felt each of them so deeply that I had to pull over on the highway and write this poem.


I’m listening to you speak of your pain

and what it’s saying to you. As my heart

aches the way a tree splits. And in the split,

I realize that an entire life—decades, a century

if blessed—all of it is a blink in the eye of the

Many-Named God who gifts us great love and

suffering, so that in the split and ache that stuns

us, we might know the full length of time and

how effort turns to grace: in the curl of a wave,

in the flap of a wing, in the first breath of a

child no one expected, in the last breath of

someone who saved us from ourselves, in the

dissolution of the clouds that mute our wonder.

And in that holy pause of heart, life starts again.

I’m listening with no way to convey how beauty-

fully ordinary we are. I just know, when bearing

witness this tenderly, everything matters. Impos-

sible as it seems, we fall like water from here

to here, giving our selves to everything

along the way.

A Question to Walk With: In what way does life stun you? Who do you share this stark beauty with?

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