Olives for Hope

If the world is ever going to come to peace,
humanity can no longer be recognized 
on a case by case basis.



Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:30 PM

Gravity - not the stuff of science class, but hot and oppressive, like a sticky Alabama August before a storm. That’s what it feels like, to be a spectator, watching impotently, as the life I’ve known for nine years starts to be pulled away in front of my eyes. Or maybe it is more like a star, imploding on itself, leaving a black hole. I have never, even in the darkest moments of my life, felt this helpless to change the course of things. A reality my mind rejects, but my heart feels.

 September, 2011, nine years ago, I arrived at this place unaware, unprepared. My commitment was just one year, not even that, really just nine months. How did those nine months become nine years? How did this place become home? Each year was filled with light and dark, love and fear, nightmares and daydreams. But whatever the cost, it became a part of me, essential.

 It is the place where I first learned how it felt to make a life that is my own. A life lived according to my own north star. It is the place I first understood a life’s purpose, my purpose. The thing that all that had passed, had prepared me for.

 I understand doors closing and windows opening. I know I will start again, again….even though, right now, I don’t know how. How do I even carefully box up all my memories, not knowing how to send them on during a pandemic, to meet me across the ocean? How do I begin, when I can’t say goodbye - goodbye to the home I made, to my students - the profession that gave me purpose, to the ones I love, to the one who is the other half of my soul? COVID has built a wall around us, and I will leave, as I arrived, on my own, unprepared.

Yes, I knew that this day would come - eventually, but not today. I thought I would get a goodbye of my own design, not one dictated by circumstance beyond influence. I will persevere, I will be OK, just not now, just not today. Today my heart breaks, and I give in, to gravity.

Written September 2021

Categories: My Poetry and other thoughts