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Goodbye and Hello

One of my very first ‘real’ jobs was working at Hustler Press, owned by Orval Ricketts.  I was a senior in high school in Farmington, New Mexico and Mr. Ricketts was one of the finest men I’ve ever met.

The memories . . .

The goodbyes and the hellos . . .

Mr. Ricketts’ poem, “Looking at Another Year” is in his book of poetry, My Window on the Mesa.

A Short Testament

A Short Testament
by Anne Porter

Whatever harm I may have done
In all my life in all your wide creation
If I cannot repair it
I beg you to repair it,

And then there are all the wounded
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed
As if I were not one of them.
Where I have wronged them by it
And cannot make amends
I ask you
To comfort them to overflowing,

And where there are lives I may have withered around me,
Or lives of strangers far or near
That I’ve destroyed in blind complicity,
And if I cannot find them
Or have no way to serve them,

Remember them. I beg you to remember them

When winter is over
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death’s bare branches.

this fragrant glow

Gold bugs, yellow butterflies, orange lilies.

What to do with this great fragrant glow?

Well, hold on to it.

You’ll want it in the days to come.

~ Josephine W. Johnson

entering empty time

A Blessing for One Who Is Exhausted

by John O’Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The ride you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

Letting Go

Letting Go

I was born to let go and I have let go of many things:
the way the morning rises above the Pacific,
and sand sliding from my hands;
I have let go of the old afternoon, tired from heat,
and I have let go of every evening that I lived;
the hardest has been the love,
slipping through a sieve like rare events
made common in loss.

Here I am, leaning toward the watchtower,
where angels stand silent and constant,
and I think: they do not let go, but see everything
that had a name and what didn’t have a name,
but I am human in the way I open and close.

My maturity covers my heart
like the woven prayer shawl draped over my sofa,
worn when memory steals my forgetfulness;
then all that I have freed from the pulse in my wrist
flutters against my arm resting aside my bowing,
and I see how love became a kind respect,
some dignity of having felt the way a wave must feel
as the moon pulls with irresistible force of intent,
its lifting and then releasing, how the wave must feel
as water un-gathered, and then gathered,
and then rushing deep around again, un-gathered.

Rhythms of attachment
are threads that quiver in the loom,
the spools that spun the cloth of those old shirts I wore
bearing the scent of people I knew and who I once held
in body or mind, and then, let go, and they became prayers
I said once, and sometimes say again,
because that is how love lingers.

I was born to let go,
and I have let go of many things
so nothing is broken
just released, given like a gift:
the hardest, and the greatest, was love.

by Mary L. Fraser

a wish

I would love to live
like a river flows,
carried by the surprise
of its own unfolding.
– John O’Donohue

No more leaving

No More Leaving
by Hafiz

Some point
Your relationship
With God
Become like this:

Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street

There won’t be anymore

That is,

God will climb into
Your pocket.

You will simply just take

From: ‘The Gift’

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky