A clichèd pining...
when did you grow up so much
that you can be an alumna of any place
and now they have you back
to talk about the places you've been
you are but not yet fifteen
i see the wisdom arriving in your soul
such confusion for this mom's heart
your beatific baby smile is all I recall
your school of nine years, endless memories
it was a drive we've done a million times
moving from the back to the front seat
in my car among your many graduations
i miss those days when I rushed like the wind
fought traffic, fought life—some days it was war
and there you'd be waiting, yet sometimes hard to be found
holding your own, only letting go in mommy's car
some days a haven where you'd sit in silence
sometimes a madhouse where i'd have to bite my tongue
some days a confessional where sins were owned
sometimes just a place to hide from the world
and when we drove up to your old school last night
you played that song we used to sing in comical fun
when I laughed and said, what times it brings to mind
you said, "of course, mom! I had to play it this ride"
how precious those days, and they won't come back
but I know your soul does remember them well
you find treasures of meaning, what grown men can't do
my little sweet soul, the world must have a lovely place for you!
From my debut poetry collection: Arrivals & Departures: Journeys in Poems
That is a poem I wrote for my daughter years ago when she entered high school. She’d been invited back to her middle school to talk about her transition from that small, private K-8 Montessori to her huge public high school. I’d been apprehensive about her transition. But even on the car ride to her alma-mater her reflection to find memory and meaning in her journey both surprised and comforted me. Now I see her getting close to finishing junior year in college, and I keep asking: where did the time go? While a cliched refrain, my question represents a near universal bittersweet truth for most parents. So here’s a little haiku I wrote for this pining:
Let me grab that time
Fold it neatly for later
To be here again!
Hope the poem and haiku stir within you a desire to grab the here and now! Is life going by faster than ever? And is it because the internet with its attendant gifts accelerated everything or that we(I) just got older and there’s a lot more to look back on?
My debut poetry anthology Arrivals & Departures: Journeys in Poems is finally available in hardcover with full color photos! Hope you’ll choose this format for a more complete experience.
Be a player…
I’ve remained active on Instagram even as I abandoned most of the brittle, self-absorbed circus of social media. And that’s because for me Instagram is playtime: with my and others’ nature photos, beauty captures of all kinds and yes, doggie videos! At one point on Instagram I began to add hashtags to my photos but got off that bandwagon when I found myself worrying about followers and features instead of just enjoying the visual ride. Preserving the essence of pure play has also necessitated carefully curating my feed and follow(er)s. So when I read this post on Valentina Petrova’s Life Intelligence newsletter, it resonated with me. Valentina, a consummate life coach, offers a few easy ways that we don’t often consider, to improve our physical and mental health, including the underrated act of play. Check out her post.
Do you make time to play? When do you let your mind run free in pure flow with no attention to extrinsic outcomes of material gain or prestige?
I have a special affinity for unsung heroes whose journeys serve as inspiration for those who know/knew them but remain largely obscure. Here are two I wanted to share with you.
An absolutely fascinating and literally (as in literally - not how young people use that word) breathtaking documentary worthy of your time is The Alpinist (Netflix). If you do watch it, and your jaw hits the floor, you’re welcome. :-) But do also notice the mom’s words and attitude. Major respect!
Another story I have been fascinated with is the life story of one of my favorite musicians. He’s well loved for his songs but his personal journey has remained largely hidden so I was thrilled to read this in the WSJ. Once you read his story, this song will, well… move you.
I was raised on a fault line
Thought the faults were all mine… …
I was born on a bad sign
Saw the best in the worst times
Singing all of the wrong lines all my life
I am always looking for stories of unsung heroes. If you know of any from your life or from those you know, do share with me.
Beautiful poem, I really liked the haiku.
So sweet and something all of us parents can relate. The graduation from the back to the front seat happened without my noticing in the mad rush of just "getting on with it" - who knows what that definition of "getting on with it" is - all I know is that it was a wonderful time that feels like it went by too quickly but at that time could not go by quickly enough.