Sometimes the bleakness is overwhelming.
You know that feeling.
You’ve had your own trauma.
So have we.
A loved one lost to COVID.
A life ended too soon.
How long has it been since yesterday?
Too long, and yet not long enough. Yesterday slipped through our fingers when we looked away, just for a moment.
Haiku for Yesterday
a crayon-bright life can turn black and white in a COVID hot minute
But we aren’t born to live in yesterday.
Even though the call of the past is so incredibly strong, and the threads are woven so tightly, there’s always an eye to the future.
What about tomorrow?
Haiku for Tomorrow
and yet, the blossoms, our promise for tomorrow - hope sings in our souls
But what is our song for today? Or is it a lament?
Today, perhaps, we just sit and sit and sit and sit, like T.S. Eliot’s Gumbie Cat, and will then spring to life when it is time and we can move forward.
What about our dreams, and all the memories we share?
Haiku for Today
for now, we will sit, and remember - not forget - how you made us feel
These feelings, the sadness of loss balanced by hope for the future and the continuum of life woven by the fabric of our our loved ones, both here and gone, remind me of my favorite John Denver song. Just a single line of this tune, Poem, Prayers and Promises, brings me back to so many nights with my parents and brother on our deck at the beach house where I grew up, the smell of salt in the air, the meaning of life and love and purpose being discussed as fervently as it ever was by anyone, in any age: “Things that we believe in… how sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care…”
I tried to capture these feelings a few years ago, in this post and poem, and one of the chief joys of my life is that it touched my Dad, who died less than two months later. The legacy of his regard, trust and counsel is the best inheritance ever. You can see his comments in the post, which are an eternal treasure to me.
But John Denver captured it much more masterfully than I, in his song.
Poems, Prayers and Promises
I've been lately thinking about my life's time All the things I've done, how it's been And I can't help believing in my own mind I know I'm gonna hate to see it end I've seen a lot of sunshine, slept out in the rain Spent a night or two all on my own I've known my lady's pleasures, had myself some friends And spent a night or two in my own home I have to say it now, it's been a good life, all in all It's really fine to have a chance to hang around And lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire While all my friends and my old lady sit and pass the pipe around Talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care How long it's been since yesterday and what about tomorrow? What about our dreams and all the memories we share? The days they pass so quickly now, nights are seldom long Time around me whispers when it's cold The changes somehow frighten me, still I have to smile It turns me on to think of growing old For though my life's been good to me there's still so much to do So many things my mind's never known I'd like to raise a family, I'd like to sail away And dance across the mountains on the moon, yes I would I have to say it now, it's been a good life, all in all It's really fine to have the chance to hang around And lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire While all my friends and my old lady, sit and watch the sun go down Talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in How sweet it is to love someone, how right it is to care How long it's been since yesterday and what about tomorrow? What about our dreams and all the memories we share? Songwriters: John Denver Poems, Prayers and Promises lyrics © Reservoir Media Music, Jesse Belle Denver, Bmg Rights Management (uk) Limited, Bmg Ruby Songs, Dino Park Publishing, W B Music Corp, My Pop's Songs, Wb Music Corp Obo Jesse Belle Denver
I have to say it now, it’s been a good life, all in all.
Happy World Gratitude Day.
And, if you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s a GoFundMe for our loved one who suffered the most in our recent loss: Support Noemi in the Loss of Her Beloved James.
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