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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letting Go

My mind scrambles for metaphors. Can't help it. It seems to be the way I make sense of the world. So I've searched for the right fit for my current state. For a while I thought of myself as the kid who climbs the long ladder to the platform high above the pool and is told to wait now (forever!) before taking the short walk and the long dive. Then I thought of the skydiver about to jump, trusting that the chute will open. After hearing our new minister talk about the leap of faith a la Indiana Jones stepping off the cliff with the faith that the invisible bridge would be there, I thought "That's it!" And it is, and all these are part of what I feel. But lately, I've thought more about the leaving part, what I'm giving up for the twenty-seven months. This spring in Athens has never been more beautiful. The dogwoods and azaleas were dazzling, fresh layers of bright green begin to frame everything, and now Queen Anne's lace tilts its galaxies at roadside and our backyard meadow is flocked with a thousand daisies. Mornings are filled with birdsong and the hummingbirds are back. And life is good in other ways, too. My family and friends have never been more thoughtful and appreciative; I'm reminded of what wonderful human beings they are and why I love them. In June my son and daughter-in-law are moving back to the states after his being in Macedonia for four years. My poetry is getting some recognition and I have a new chapbook going to press in the coming months. This is all hard to leave. So my metaphor has changed a bit. I feel now like the trapeze artist perched comfortably and securely on her swing, enjoying the ride, in control. She likes this swing. But she knows momentarily she will make changes, slip down to a hanging position, gain the right momentum, and at the proper juncture, let go, turn, grab the new swing waiting for her. I know it will be a good swing. I know it's part of the act I want my life to be. I know others performing the same leap will be there for me. But still, letting go is hard. And it's almost time.


  1. Well, my dear, I am having a hard time responding. I've thought of you so many times this week that I never could list them. I've thought selfishly about you -- in the "who can I talk to now?" vein. I've thought of best-case and worst-case scenarios for you. I've wished you weren't going and envied you this fabulous opportunity. I've planned my visit to see you and recoiled with the fear that it won't be possible. So, I want you to know, unequivocally, unapologetically, and unembarrassedly, that I love you and am going to miss you, and I hope that you'll find comfort and courage in your knowledge that your friends back home are sort of your safety net as you fly around on that trapeze. We are cheering for you, praying for you, wishing wonderful things for you, daring you to seize all the moments when they come to you, and thinking of you with anticipation of the next words you write. Now, walk your colorful American self onto that plane and start the adventure of a lifetime. The next twenty-seven months will go like lightening and you'll come back home bigger than life for all you've experienced. Above all, take care. Heal yourself. Love others. Bask in it all.

  2. So enjoy reading your thoughts and look forward to your journeys. Thank you for sharing.
    Paul Hanna

  3. Are you there yet? Just kidding! But I guess the ash falling from the sky didn't prevent take-off. Hope your journey is safe and adventure-filled--the good kind of adventure, of course. Our thoughts and prayers--and Goddess Blessings--are with you. Look forward to hearing all about it. Much love--Myrna & Herb