(I'm taking a 9-month inquiry into Aging as Creative Catalyst. The following poem is my response to one of our assignments. It was written while I was on retreat.)
Life arrived in search of me.
It knew I had been long asleep, long afraid, ensnared by the bottle, enmeshed in love that was not love, only habit and desire.
Life asked me to breathe, breathe and turn, turn in a new direction.
I did not recognize life when it came in search of me. I thought it was death--and it was: death of my old life, death of my old way of being.
It has taken me a long time to accept all of life's invitation. Or rather I have used these years of my second life to accept more and more of it.
The sleeping time seemed real when I lived it. I have clear memories, some even of happiness, of deep feelings, of love and sorrow. And there was so much thought, so much analysis, so much doubt, but all of it glazed over by wine, by fear.
What is arriving in search of me now? What will call me deeper into my true nature?
For some other part of life is calling me now in the murmur of the wind in the aspen tree, the serenade of the crickets, the insistent bellowing of the tiny frog in the hydrangea. Something beckons me in the golds and greens mirrored in the pond. Something lies waiting in my need to sit with myself.