Thursday, May 13, 2010
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.