Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principles of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the maniac dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road 
precious to me.
In my darkest night
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers"
and though I lack the art 
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.

I am not done with my chapters.

Stanley Kunitz

Many thanks and much love 
to a friend who sent this wonderful poem 
to me 
which captures much 
of what 
I'm feeling 
at this years end.

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