Sunday, June 21, 2020


Eighteen months after I started a new poem that gave evidence of going off in an entirely new direction, I am still trying to loop a rein over it, though more of it is written than I ever expected.  In October of 2018, I called it "Portal," and it has been an entry into a new world of poetry, as well as an introduction to the cork board section of Scrivener, which has allowed me to move these sections around as inspiration has curled around my journeys, up a ziggurat, and down a mountain path to an encounter that led me to change the title to "Portal of Light."  Several times, I have thought I was almost finished, but then I asked my daughter to critique it, and she suggests another poem to write, a gap to fill in with some narrative verse, journaling to help me discover what I am trying to say, prayer and meditation to listen to what I need to discover, and then I realize, as my son used to say when he was little,
"There's lots of work to be done."
What I realized as I looked at the "assignments" she has given me, that I would at first reject as not being relevant or something I didn't want to write because it required delving back into the powerfully painful feelings I experienced when my husband died, or looking at how those feelings unspooled in my life since then, or that I couldn't write another poem as good as the one that opened the whole chapbook, was that what she was asking was for me to plunge into the transfiguration experience that ended "Portal of Light" and to allow myself to continue to be reconfigured by it.  This reminded me of reading a book by Matthew Kelly where he said at one point that God doesn't want to tweak you, he wants to transform you.  My response was that he had already transformed me into a widow, and I would have preferred that he just tweaked me.  As I reflected on the challenge my daughter had given me, I realized that I was slowly creeping back to the corner where I had been hiding before the metamorphosis created by love opened the "Portal of Light" that I have been struggling to paint in my chapbook.  What I think she is daring me to do is to keep going forward, through the "Portal of Light" into a more abundant and radiant life.

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