On the last weekend of August I attended the Grief and Growing weekend put on annually by the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center. It was amazing, profound, and yes, healing. Here's the poem I wrote in my head on the drive home from Santa Rosa.
On the island of sad people
a wave breaks forever on the soft stone of our hearts
there is a grove of arms for each of us
that sways gently in the wind of our sighs.
We cry out
and the crows continue their work of being crows.
We cry out
and the deep rooted forest stays rooted deep.
In the crowns of the trees,
ten thousand green-tipped twigs
still reach quietly for the sun.
We cry out and our cries become a flock of small wings circling the place
where we stand weeping.
This is the place where grief creeps out from between our ribs
and shows its tear streaked, ravaged face,
unbends its proud neck to dance before us
in a passion of awkward, devastated grace
so that we catch our breath at its unexpected beauty.
We have left our numb courtesies at the gate,
the weary fine, fine, I’m fine with which we meet
the dogged insistence of others that we be well,
our distracted pleasantries
as we navigate the business of still living
So that here, girdled by strong reefs
our brief true smiles flash across the night like fallen stars
shedding showers of light on the darkened land.
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