There’s something about knowing something will be your last
which changes the experience of it.
Like your sunset
of calm breaths and presence.
Devouring every detail.
If that is all our goodbye lovers have to teach us, then I’m alright with that.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
I came to your room, 547 bed one. The last few times I have been here I was met with mostly silence parading around as a polite, “leave me alone.” Today is different, you look weak, tired, spent. I say hello with a smile, which I soften a little as I meet your gaze. You return my greeting grasping at a small curve of the lips. My heart is so full for you.
I know you have amazing family support, they have sent flowers, sat with you, and held your hand. I also know thats why my cheerful outreach has been met with resistance. You think you don’t need me. Maybe you don’t.
Today is different. It is Sunday. The floor is quiet and no one is here to refill the water in your withering flowers.
I feel honored when you tell me about your pain, when you sob, “It’s just so hard.” I know your pain. I am here, I feel it with you. Such is the beauty of this work, the great gift of attunement. The tears in your eyes tell me that you feel it too. I ask if we can pray together. You say yes and our hands hold each other while you pray for the pain to stop. My body begins a slow tingle, while I begin to lighten.
We open our eyes and our tears fall. We smile together.
….Many summers later I’d learn to love
the shadows illumination creates.
But experience always occurs too late
to undo what’s been done. The hint
of moon above an unpredictable sea,
and that young man, that poor me,
staring ahead– everything is as it was.
And of course has been changed.
I got over it. I’ve never been the same. –Stephen Dunn
For the past 7 years I have been working towards something that will come together in a few short months. I just left my last evening class of graduate school. Left is one 10-week quarter and roughly 150 client hours.
Then I meet my master’s degree in counseling psychology.
This feeling on a Tuesday evening is pure happiness.
This weekend Hippie Hill taught me some lessons:
1. Climb to the top of everything, take in every view.
2. Share laughter.
3. Keep the redheads close, they’re special.
4. Show up.
5. Let go of the outcome, you have everything and nothing to do with the outcome.
6. Composition is important.
7. Hoola Hoop.
8. Write poetry, then fold it.
Hippie Hill: I will always hold your memory with the warmest of hearts,