In the deepest part of me
Like flowers in a garden
One truth rings true
Veraciously recounting all that was planted
Even the lesser blossoms from
Yesterday’s seeds become the beauty I see
One bloom at a time
Uniting our hearts with yours richly enfolded in mine
Gifts of love continue feeding one’s soul, long after the person is gone. I do believe that some folks’ shadow side is so apparent that it swallows up their light at least for a time. This has happened to me. Even when those of us who consider ourselves “wounded healers,” squinting real tight and moving our heads from side to side try, yet fail to capture the light that may have been extinguished many years before we made their acquaintance. Usually it is because neither time nor circumstance has been a credit to their existence, and while it sometimes escapes me as to why this is true for some and not others I have engaged with in this space, seeing that it is my responsibility to walk with them, to help them find some light, I can do nothing with them unless they are able to open to it. Able… I have an issue with that word. The more I mature, I think I am realizing that we are all truly doing our best. Able… What does that word really mean?? Able…
April 28, 1996. It has been 24 years since I last saw you in the flesh, nearly a quarter of a century to think of you more than any other thought, multitudes of times daily, researching you from every angle on any given day ~ replaying as best I can behaviors, facial expressions, vocal tones, inflections, and expressions of affection in my mind. Your life means more to me now that I have lived long enough to revisit you obsessively, having talked with relatives about you, and them tell me things I never knew ~ embracing you, individuating from you, and consciously integrating you into my being. Mama, you have become Dionne, and you delight me… For that I am grateful. Embracing you has been my work to do.
Because you taught me, I have learned to be kind to others whether I “feel” like it or not (most of the time, I think); take time to listen when I believe I already know the answer (well, more often than before); share what I have when I prefer to be only-childlike; always pray; trust my intuition (if not immediately, eventually); and to walk with my back straight and chin up. I am learning that your ability to love me and others the way you did, with a mercy that caused you to care about their experience and their intention much more than their actions, was what you often tried to teach me. I am grateful to have an encyclopedic memory of grace authored by you that I can review as needed, while I tarry here, placing one foot in front of the other.
I am looking forward to what you will continue to teach me, as I am able…to listen, to open myself up more to light than shadow, to grow in mercy, and to do my best. I pray that time and circumstance continue to be good to and for me. May I be more response-able so that when others squint real tight at me, moving their heads from side to side, checking out my light and my shadow, they capture more light and forgive my shadow so we can walk together doing whatever is ours to do.
Dionne, I wrote that poem for you…it is a little stream of consciousnessy, but, it is my first one. I hope you like it.