Tuesday, May 6, 2008


In our writing group, we recently had the task of writing something about loneliness. This is a subject expats are experts at. We are doomed to experiencing everything about this wonderful (and sometimes weird) culture we are living in, alone, sharing with whoever will listen, but not often hearing the longed-for words, "I've been there and I know what you're talking about." We have to do everything alone! So sometimes we want to shut it all out. Keeping your arms held up before your eyes, shutting everything out, is an exhausting business. But sometimes, when we listen very hard to our hearts, we hear other words, inviting words, words which liberate us, helping us to open up again and move on to a new place. Here is what I wrote:


Standing alone, arms outstretched,
aching for the relief of relaxation,
barely able to hold her arms anymore
against the window crack, after
years of ticking hours,
pushing with all she is
to keep the waters from
gushing, sweeping
her from the floor,
lifting her up from the muck
out the door.

Whoosh! she would swoop
away, lifted to rush
past junk and debris.

She hates her vigil there,
too tired to cry,
no strength left to feel,
she fears more the source,
and tales she has heard of its force.

Whoosh! she would swoop
away, lifted to rush
to spaces unknown.

Her strength spent, she sits
emptied, she waits.
Before her a sound,
behind her a song
pierces a crack in her soul.

"Come, rest awhile,
you need not fear.
I'll take you from here
to the home of your heart."

Not daring to trust,
too weary to balk,
she listens and hears
the sound of her heart,
the warm trickle of drops
dripping, slowly, to ease her way
through the door,
strengthened for the journey.

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