Today is a raft
I felt compelled to write you...a poem (!?)
A lot has happened since we last spoke. I returned home from Parent & Family Weekend in Minnesota, gathered my wits for a few days, then flew to California to help Mom relocate to a retirement community in Portland. She just moved into her new apartment on Saturday.
This is a good, big thing; too big to narrate in real time. I shared a few vague, bittersweet glimpses on Instagram, but otherwise I’ve been pretty quiet about this epic transition.
It’s frustrating because I want more than anything to talk to you about the experience and hear yours.
For many of us, supporting aging parents is a major part of the “parent of adults” phase and I haven’t had much opportunity to discuss it in community. But I’ve come to accept my wordless periods are necessary and trust the story needs time to develop.
So, to be continued.
For now, I wrote a poem.
Friends, I am not a poet. I barely read poetry even though I’m poetry-curious and enjoy the Poetry Unbound podcast.
But this is what emerged. Narrative for this transition is beyond my grasp, but a metaphor floated into view. I guess this is how my strange brain needs to work right now.
I offer this as you sail into your today.
Today is a raft
Today is a raft Of battered logs lashed together By seaweed and fraying rope Inexplicably buoyant The only thing onto which I can cling.
My raft doesn't protect me From the slicing salt waves Or the nauseating dips and swells. Frigid, waterlogged, directionless, I hold on with icy fingers.
I lie on velvet bark, saturated, Carried by the glassy sea Beneath the kaleidoscope sunrise And the dome of night stars No distinction between horizon and heavens.
All manner of creatures swim beneath me Unseen. A mercy, as some would eat me Or pull me under without even noticing.
The jagged cry of gulls overhead The sun heals and burns The sea provides and takes away I lie motionless Yet cross meridians
One creature broke the surface To regard my minuscule energy With a single curious eye For a stunning moment Keen to our unknowable connection Then gone, returned to the deep.
Life a monotony and a miracle.
Thanks for being on the other side. As I wait for the story, it comforts me to know you’re there to receive it.
Happy Thanksgiving with love,