My Eyes

island afar

Do my eyes deceive me or is there ahead

A place to have dwelling, to lay my bed

A time of rest and a shelter of tree

Or do my eyes deceive me?

 

Is yonder vision a heavenly grove

Where the waterfall mists with triumphant love

And in the lushest of gardens there

Where many stripes are stripped of care

Do I confess I’ve wondered where

Such a perfect boon might ever be

Or do my eyes deceive me?

 

It seems far off but within this tide

To look away seems like foolish pride

From this tropic where I’ll reside

My vision’s clarity can’t be denied

Coolness of river and orchards inside

Relief and pleasure therein supplied

 

And yet the sun burns harsher now

And the vision fades, gone with the shades

But I cling to the memory of how

I’m heading toward a wondrous place in the glades

It’s still out there in the blurried sea

Or do my eyes deceive me?

Plans

Plans

When you are a young adult, (as many of you have been, and many of you are) people are fond of asking you about your plans. What is your career trajectory? Where do you want to be in five years? Where are you going to live? How are you providing for the future?

I have a handful of friends who are still finishing up college, and at this point these questions have grown tiresome to them. Every time they say hello, there’s another expectant face asking about their plans. And here’s the thing- in a surprise to no one- most of them have no idea. “I’m twenty years old, leave me alone!” “How the heck am I supposed to know? I’ll get a job? I guess?”

I think the questioning is well intentioned for the most part. Elder counterparts of those just joining the currents of the proverbial real world want to help others avoid their mistakes or wasted time, or they happened to do well out of the gate and they want to push others to do the same. Either way, there seems to be a disconnect. It feels like an unfair question a lot of the time. How in the world am I supposed to know what life looks like in ten years? I may have a direction, but directions change, don’t they?

Most Americans change careers several times in their lives. Most everyone changes relationship statuses at least once. People move. The economy tanks. The economy skyrockets. Opportunity comes and goes. Buying into a horse and buggy business sounded great until Mr. Ford came around. Some tides can be predicted, others simply can’t. And yet, there is a pressure (not just for college grads, but really everyone) to have their entire life laid out. It’s as if we’re giving orders to a maitre d’ at a fancy restaurant.

“Excellent choice of career changes, sir. Would you like to pair that with a vacation home in Nassau? And when will you be dying this evening?”

Dwight D. Eisenhower put it best, I think. He said that plans are worthless while planning is invaluable. I have to agree with him. I think stating it in this way takes out a lot of the ambiguity and pressure.

I may or may not be a smart guy, but one thing I’m not for certain is a fortune teller. I can’t write out my plans, etch them into stone, overlay it with bronze and then never divert from them at all. Life just isn’t that stable. But here’s the thing about plans that doesn’t get said nearly enough: they can change, and that’s okay. Going into uncertainty with a good plan is infinitely better than winging it all of the time. And yet, since there is uncertainty, there will always be variables we couldn’t have accounted for until we found ourselves immersed in them. That’s when we pull out the pencil, erase a few lines and call a few audibles.

I write about this today because I feel like I see a lot of frustration. I’ve even experienced it myself. We make these grand, ornate plans, but then life just doesn’t want to cooperate. When we try to grit our teeth and refuse to budge on any aspect of our ten points to success, usually nothing happens, we fall behind, and we get depressed. Oftentimes this is when people simply quit. I’m reminded of a much less famous quote (alright, my brother said it), “You’re only stuck if you don’t move.”

I see frustration the other way as well- friends who have never bothered to really sit down and make an attack strategy, and then they wonder why things never work out. In short, it’s pretty difficult to nab an opportunity when you have zero idea of what sort of opportunity you’re aiming at. Learning to plan is great, because if you do it well you’ll be doing it your entire life. There’s a change in the wind, but we can throw our papers in the air with a smile, because even though we need to write a new plan, we’ve done this dozens of times, and it’s gotten easier. Refusing to make plans simply because life shifts and we might have to change them is like not taking a shower because you might get dirty later.

Life is beautiful. It’s full of things that I can’t control- and yet I can control the decisions that I make. The way that I interact with the variables will always be shifting, but I can adjust too. I’m not saying to give up on your dreams or to abandon your purpose; I’m simply saying that most sure roads wind quite a bit. (Or we might even say they’re anfractuous, if we’re feeling particularly erudite.)

I have some very clear goals in my life that I have no intention of changing, and yet the way I see myself getting there has changed several times. The world shifts, and so does my strategy. And yet my resolve and my purpose remain firm. The reed that bends does not break, correct? And yet it’s still rooted in the ground.

Life is a Movie

Movie

Life is a movie.

I know what you’re thinking- it isn’t at all like that. We dream up scenarios where the prince always rides up on a white horse, or if you’re the prince you save the stunning damsel, and there’s a bad guy, of course, but he’s simple even if he’s smart. He’ll tell you his plans and there’s always a way out. Every line is witty and clever, every moment perfection. Cue the credits, ride into the sunset. People think life is this kind of movie sometimes, and they inevitably end up hurt, confused, desperate, and despondent.

So we say life isn’t like a movie.

But it is.

Life is a well-written movie, and the distinction is crucial.

My journey has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but I didn’t get to look at the box before we started this thing, so I don’t know how long it is. Maybe today is still the beginning. Maybe it’s halfway over. Maybe it’s the final scene. Whenever it happens: beginning, middle, and end.

There’s a love interest- but like any properly written story, it isn’t always so clear. A heart can be pulled in a hundred directions, even if it only has one true bearing. And here’s a twist- sometimes people don’t marry the best one for them, their one. They’re out there, but people get impatient sometimes, going forward with something they know isn’t the best. Just when you suspect you know what’s going to happen, it shifts. A hope becomes a let-down.

But sometimes the opposite happens. Sometimes a let-down blossoms in hope. The nerdy girl in the glasses really does look beautiful at prom sometimes, but never in the way you’d expect. The kid who got cut from every team he tried out for becomes an incredible athlete, and maybe he even takes a squad to the championship game!

But this is a well-written movie, so you never know if they’re going to win it or let the opportunity slip and be forced to find redemption elsewhere. You never know what to expect. But there is always redemption. This is a movie, after all.

There is a moment where we can say “all is lost,” or the “dark hour of the soul.” In a well-written movie, sometimes there’s more than one. Recovery can be swift and instant, or it can be slow and painful. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. Twists and turns, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something new hits you. Your expectations, for better or worse, fall through. The writer of this grand script never takes the easy way out. He takes the interesting path, the best path, the path that makes this thing a story worth telling.

There’s a whole host of characters, but none of them are flat. Everyone is a round character, only I just haven’t found that out yet. Maybe the mailman actually is a spy, but maybe he’s a train collector- or a sportsman, or a skier, or a terrible husband, or a wonderful friend. Back stories abound, and in fact they’re never ending. See, because in a well-written movie (not just any movie) the writer knows that all of his characters have lives. Even the extras are full of worlds and stories. There just isn’t enough time to tell you all of them, so you only see a few.

In fact, they’re all movies too. I just can’t watch all of them. I can’t even really watch another whole one in its entirety.

There will be triumph, when it looks like there’s no way out, there will be- but will I take it? There’s character development for some, and some are stuck in a rut, but it all serves to advance the plot. What is the plot? In truth, I don’t entirely know. I could tell you bits and pieces, and I could tell you my guess, but at this point I think you know how much my guesses are worth. Things shift again. The writer is way ahead of me. I just sat down to watch this, while he spent months planning it out.

There will be tragedy, I guarantee it. What use is a film where nothing bad happens? It’s boring, is what it is. Struggle, for whatever reason, seems to be a requirement for growth and change. Heck, even a painting needs conflict, or else the eye grows tired of it quickly, and then is it even really art? Art is passion, and passion is pain, but not forever.

Because there is a sunset. And I’m riding towards it. I don’t know how many offshoots and subplots and various adventures I’ll have before I get there, but there’s one thing I’m sure of:

Life is a movie.

A well-written movie.

Discomfort

wrong way

Do you love me enough to hurt me?
I don’t mean in a sick way
And I don’t mean for no reason
I want to know if you’ll rip the band-aid off my skin
or let it fester, pretend it hasn’t been on too long
And smile so you’re not the bad guy.

Do you love me enough to disagree with me?
If I ask your advice, and I’m treading on ice
Will you tell me to move? Or better yet-
Throw a rope and get me somewhere safe?
Or will you tighten your brow and say nothing?
Tacitly approving while pleading in your silent heart

Do you love me enough to make me uncomfortable?
If there’s some flaw that I have in me
Spinach in my teeth, snot on my sleeve-
Would you tell me? Or will you hold your tongue
So that maybe someone else can say it?
And you’re saved the embarrassment

I’m not talking about public shaming, and I don’t
Mean simply being contrary. I said it before,
And I say it again: discomfort. Am I worth that to you?
Is anyone worth that to you?
See, it’s sad, because there’s a lot of people, I think,
Who don’t consider a soul in this world worth that cost.

It isn’t a very big cost.

Heat Wave

fireball

It’s September in Southern California, and that inevitably means a heat wave. The air conditioner blasts here in my upper room essentially all day while the fan struggles to keep up. It makes things bearable. They say that the secret to enduring the heat is not fighting it- to just let your body sweat and adjust to a new standard. I’ve gone for that idea from time to time, but today is not one of those days. Today, the rumble of the AC is my constant companion.

What I find remarkable about this heat wave that has brought us temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s is not its location on the calendar or its severity, it’s the comments I hear about it. I don’t mean simple griping. That’s a given. I even find myself uttering the inane, obligatory, “it is HOT.” The comments I find surprising are the ones in which surprise is articulated. “What is happening?” “How weird is this for SEPTEMBER?” “Why is this happening?”

Here’s the thing. We get a heat wave every September. We usually get one in January too, and people get a lot more excited about that one. But then it goes away and gets cold again (as cold as it ever does around here) and February goes back to being especially chilly, and life goes on. It reminds me of an unfortunate reality of man, myself most certainly included. (I suppose that was redundant to reinclude myself, but I want to emphasize that I am by no means immune to this malady.)

Our memories are both selective and short. It isn’t that they are defective, necessarily. Indeed, one of the foremost pediatric neurosurgeons in the country once claimed that the human mind has enough room in it for all of the knowledge discovered in all of the history of mankind. (Accessing that information in a timely manner, as well as inputting it in a timely manner is another matter entirely.) We choose to use our minds this way. We forget, we are surprised, and we gripe in our stunned condition. Yet the heat wave came last year too, and at the same time.

Every winter the news freaks out about how cold it is. Then in the summer they freak out about how hot it is. The populace is right there with them, for the most part. Why are we surprised about things that happen almost exactly the same every year?

We return to the gym and we’ve forgotten that it’s hard. We drive through Los Angeles at one am on a Tuesday and we’re shocked that there’s traffic. And every September and January, we’re surprised at the heat wave.

I don’t know why this is. I only know that I want to remember things. Life is a little less scary that way. The heat wave will come next year too, and I’ll turn on a ceiling fan and get on with my life. Life is full of the unexpected, but it also isn’t.

I suppose it depends on what we remember, and on what we expect.

I’ve read a fair number of accounts of prisoners of war during the various conflicts of the modern age, and those that managed to live through their experiences and return to some sort of normalcy typically agree on a certain principle for looking at the world. It is perhaps articulated best by a P.O.W. in the infamous Hanoi Hotel during the Vietnam War. When asked who were the first kind of people to break in prison- to give up and die- he naturally responded that it was the pessimists. This makes sense, as they never had any hope. However, he was quick to add that the optimists were quick to follow in their footsteps and fall next, succumbing to the horror of their circumstances. This is counter-intuitive. We’re always told to stay positive, and in truth, there is much good to be found in that advice. Yet what he calls optimism others might call denial. Those he referred to as the optimists in prison were always going on about how they would all be rescued by Christmas, and then they would smile and caress their hope as it brought them through agony. But then Christmas would come and the rescue wouldn’t. They would be shattered until they lighted upon another idea. By the spring we’ll be rescued. They would then shift to this being their mantra, remembering that despite all of the bad, they would be out by spring. Then spring would come, and with it no rescue. It required a varying number of crushing disappointments for these optimists to lose it and give up, but they all did. They had hope, but it was imaginary. Their timelines were arbitrary. True, the glass is half full, but if it’s full of antifreeze, you still shouldn’t drink it.

The ones who made it through the war without cracking up or dying were what this officer called the hopeful pragmatists. They were the ones who realized that they had received a beating yesterday, a beating today, and in all likelihood, they’d get another one tomorrow. Their hope was not that every man of them would be rescued- that was impossible. Their hope was not that they would be rescued at a certain point. Their hope was that the day would eventually come when old glory stormed the castle. They had no idea when this would be or which ones of them would make it, but this hope, this true hope, kept them going. They did not succumb to the bitterness of their circumstance by denying hope, nor did they fabricate it. They hoped in what was real, and they remembered what had happened already so they were not surprised when it came again. Eventually, their hope was proved substantial. Rescue did come, but it came long after the optimists and the pessimists had died alike.

Circumstances are hard. It’s hot. We’re unhappy with X, Y, or Z. Putting a smile on your face won’t solve all of your problems in an instant, but neither will carrying  a wounded sense of defeatism. Life is what it is. There’s a lot of beauty around if you know where to look for it. Even in the darkest of situations, there is some good to be found. Even if we don’t know when things are going to get better, they will at some point- either for us or for some of our brothers in arms. I’m not saying don’t hope for big things- great change never comes without that sort of audacity. Only let us remember that it gets hot every September, and then we can deal with it accordingly, without the burden of shock slowing us down.

I want to remember things. I want to be a hopeful pragmatist. Do you?

An Odd Encounter

landscape

“One at a time, one at a time.”

Gabriel beat his drum as he spoke, thumping a musical pace for those who passed by. There was a lively chatter of excitement as everyone shuffled forward, feeling the mounting tension of a deep breath before a plunge.

“One at a time, please. Thank you.”

The line seemed endless. Faces of every size and shape and color dotted the line, emerging from the white robes that covered them. It was a beautiful scene. There were clouds, certainly, but so much more than clouds. It was a funny thing that when people imagine heaven’s gates they think of nothing more than white, fluffy clouds and pleasant boredom. The truth couldn’t be more remote.

There was grass, for one thing, peppered with wildflowers and dotted with boulders. Two stags leaped and redounded, chasing one another and suddenly switching roles in what appeared to be a game of tag. They cut sharply through the line, causing a dashing young man to hop backwards with a startled laugh. Gabriel rolled his eyes.

“Sorry about that,” he called to the man. “Nori and Fifflebum get excited when a new group comes in.”

The man smiled, his thin mustache moving with his lip.

“Oh, they have names! How wonderful!”

Gabriel continued tapping and popping at his drum as one by one, new arrivals reached the base of the mountain, stepped upon a nimbus, and were whisked up the rolling slope toward the pearly gates. Gabriel raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, he has a name; of course he has one. Both of them. Is that strange to you?”

The young man stepped forward another place in line and laughed. He had an excited nervousness about him. Who could blame him? They all did.

“I guess it shouldn’t. People name pets and things back where we came from. Those deer- and those owls, and those lions- well, they just seem more human, if that makes any sense. More lifelike, at any rate.”

The stags crashed through a thicket of berry bushes, twisting and turning as Fifflebum pushed to catch up with Nori. They ran past a sleeping tiger- who was apparently not sleeping, for he leaped up and wrapped the animal in his great paws, bringing both of them to the ground. The handsome young man watching with Gabriel was taken aback for a moment, until he saw that the other stag was not worried. He ran up to his counterpart, tapped him with his hoof, and then he was off again. The tiger released his grip, rolling on the ground and making sounds that sounded not unlike laughter, mixed with more felinity.

“Is that tiger laughing?”

“Oh, yes,” Gabriel answered. Humans always asked the most adorable questions when they arrived. “The animals are a bit more alive here than they are on earth. It’s only fitting, because the same is true of you. How did so many of you come to arrive today, anyway?”

The young man rolled his eyes.

“Iceberg. We were all aboard a ship that was supposed to be indestructible.”

Gabriel chuckled.

“Well, the best laid plans.”

The young man laughed with him, almost up to the front of the line now.

“Will you answer a question for me, angel, sir?”

“It’s Gabriel. And I’ll do my best.”

The handsome young man held out his hands and looked at them.

“Gabriel, then, thank you. I can’t see my face, but I can see the rest of me. I don’t look a day over thirty-five; maybe even less!”

Gabriel began to nod knowingly as the beat went on, popping and ringing like a djimbe. He had heard this one countless times.

“Yes?” Gabriel encouraged him. He was only three people from the front now.

“This morning I was an old man. Eighty-one, if you can believe it. And furthermore, there were lots of us old folks aboard that ship, but there aren’t any old ones here.”

“‘Lay down your burdens and welcome in, Sorrow, sickness, pain and eld, Are not permitted, and won’t begin.’

“What was that?” the young man asked.

“Just a line from a poem. No one is old here. Time itself, actually, isn’t really much of a concept here. Its purpose has been fulfilled.”

Two people from the front now, where a nimbus would come and usher him into the shining gates of the heavenly city, the young man looked as though he was about to ask another question, when Gabriel’s attention was stolen elsewhere.

It was an angry one, that was for certain. Of course, this sort was always angry. Rage seemed to be their defining characteristic. Perhaps hopelessness defined them better, but this one was nearly steaming from the top of his bald, liver-spotted head. Gabriel continued playing his drum, but his attention caught the handsome young man’s attention, and together they both watched as the old one approached.

“I though no one was old here,” the young man started.

“You’ll see,” Gabriel answered him with a sigh.

The stalking, shaking, angry old man twitched as he made his way toward Gabriel and the new arrivals. He avoided proximity to the line with unabashed disgust, attempting to spit on those who waited, but never seeming to hit his mark. Most seemed not to notice him.

As he caught sight of Gabriel, with his eyes afire in rage and enmity, he continued his cursing and muttering, but his course was set for the angel. Gabriel sighed and lifted his eyes briefly heavenward- which was only a few thousand yards away.

“God, give me patience.”

“You!” the old man screamed, physically shaking his fist at Gabriel. He spit to the side and then, somehow, he managed to scrunch up his face even more than it had been previously. “You…”

“Excuse me,” a polite voice spoke up from behind the handsome young man. “It’s your turn.”

“Oh,” the young man exclaimed. He looked to the nimbus, then to Gabriel and the confrontational old man. “I’ll just be a minute, thank you. You can go on ahead.”

She smiled, and did just that, stepping on a nimbus with her arms outstretched. The wind played through her long, curling hair, and her squealing laughter echoed across the plane.

“Can I help you with something?” Gabriel said, clearly trying to be patient. It was not the easiest thing for him, apparently. The old man spit again.

“No, I don’t think you can. And if you could, I wouldn’t want you to, you piece of garbage!”

He swore colorfully for several seconds. The handsome young man leaned into Gabriel’s ear.

“He was with me on the boat. He was much younger, I think- if it’s even him. We became a sort of friends.”

“A lot of people who were on the boat aren’t in this line, I’m afraid.”

“You call that a paradise?” the old man shouted, pointing up to heaven with his broken, splintered cane. His hand bled from gripping it so. “You think I don’t know what it is up there? What you do to people?”

Gabriel sighed, shaking his head.

“Did you have a question, a request, or would you just like to yell?”

“I don’t have to take this!” the old man wheezed, shouting for all he was worth, though it clearly pained his old throat. “It isn’t justice, you know. Taking some and sending the others to Hell? Well there’s no paradise in exclusion, you know? I would know! I’ve studied philosophy for years and years and friggin’ years!”

“Oh have you?” Gabriel said, trying to avoid the conversation as much as possible.

The old man swore some more.

“You think you’re all so righteous, hogging all of the good stuff and leaving crap for the rest of us! You’re the evil ones, not us! Not us, but you…” He narrowed his eyes and leveled a pointing, shaking finger. “There is no paradise in exclusion.”

“Excuse me, sir?” another friendly voice piped up behind the handsome young man. “It’s your turn, I think.”

“You can go ahead of me,” he replied. Then, turning to Gabriel, he whispered. “What is this?”

Gabriel shook his head.

“Someone from Hell. Destined for it, anyway.”

“Oh, so I was destined for Hell?” the shaking old man railed. “Where is the justice in that? The game was stacked against me from the start; but I’ve got a surprise for you! What’s waiting for you up there is not beautiful or good- it’s all a lie! Hahaha, it’s all a lie, you fools. There is no paradise in exclusion. How could He send me to Hell? Is that love? No!”

Interrupting what was a rather emphatic, poisonous string of cursing, Gabriel spoke to the impassioned curmudgeon.

“Well, would you like to come in then?”

The old man spit.

“What, into heaven?”

Gabriel nodded soberly.

This quieted the railing octogenarian for a moment. He eyed the angel with suspicion.

“You lie to me for your own twisted amusement.” He spat the words with disdain.

“I do not,” Gabriel returned in a soft voice. “Take off your filthy rags, wash in the stream, and we will clothe you in a fine robe, like these. Your age will fall away, and you will be welcomed into the presence of God, to rejoice and live in fullness forevermore.”

“It’s going to be great!” the handsome young man assured him. “We’ll get to see Jesus!”

The old man scoffed, and then he coughed furiously, his eyes trying their best to murder the angel and the young man. Somehow, his hands were restrained, else they would have found themselves closed around the necks of those with whom he spoke.

“I don’t want to see God,” he growled. “And I certainly don’t want to see Jesus. You make me sick, you dirty thieves. Liars! Perverted distortioners! There is no heaven in exclusion, don’t you see, you fools?”

The handsome young man looked puzzled. Gabriel only blinked slowly.

“Would you like to come in, or wouldn’t you?”

“Come in!” the young man urged him.

The old man gestured rudely and shouted once more.

“I would rather rot in the hot darkness of Hell before I would set one foot in that abomination called heaven.” He began to curse, then, his voice occasionally rising as he turned and walked away, joining the masses of huddled souls pushing and shoving in the opposite direction as the line of heaven-goers. He eventually faded away, meshing into the wide road filled with men and women who screamed and looked more like fiends then people.

“Excuse me, sir?” another patient voice spoke up behind the handsome young man. “Your nimbus is here.”

“You can take it,” he replied. “I’ll get the next one.”

The handsome young man stood in silence a while, staring off as Gabriel continued playing his drum.

“Would you really have let him in?”

The angel nodded.

The handsome young man pondered some more.

“What happens when people like that take you up on the offer?”

“They never do.”

The young man raised his eyebrow.

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“And yet it’s true,” Gabriel sighed. “Anyone who wishes can enter into paradise, but the decision made on earth never deviates from the decision a person makes here. That man was heading for Hell his entire life, and he knew it. He wanted it. He won’t be happy there, of course. No one will. But it’s what he chose, anyway. That’s part of the reason he’s so angry.”

“But no one is that angry… I’ve never seen it.”

“They’re all like that, I’m afraid.”

“I’ve known many a pleasant man who didn’t have any faith.”

“I’m certain that you have, but ‘pleasant’ can’t withstand the strain of death. In this place, you humans become fully like yourselves- either a new creation, full of life, joy, vigor, worship, and goodness and youth- or a dead, old shell of a person. Angry, bitter, and full of sorrow and pain. More like a demon than a man.”

“So… was he right? Is there a paradise in exclusion?”

Gabriel shrugged.

“We may never know. You can ask God when you get up there. I think whether there is or not doesn’t really matter. There doesn’t need to be exclusion for people to sort themselves out.”

“He could come in, and he doesn’t?”

“That’s right.”

The handsome young man shook his head, letting go of the burden.

“That’s stupid. Can you argue with him? Get him to change his mind?”

“Oh, I’ve tried,” Gabriel replied. “Doesn’t do any good. Same decision on earth, same decision here.”

The handsome young man watched as the stags weaved through an outcropping of boulders, then collided, trumpeting in exultation. The birds sang as they swooped by, and the wind brought with it the scent of primroses. The lively, excited chatter, continued. Gabriel sighed, then gathered a smile for the handsome young man.

“Excuse me, sir,” a voice behind him began. “Your nimbus is here.”

The handsome young man glanced back, and sure enough, a personal little cloud sat at his feet, docked and ready to carry him into bliss.

“Yes,” he replied. “Yes, I suppose it is.”

“I’ll see you up there,” Gabriel offered as the young man stepped onto the nimbus. He nodded at the angel.

And then, as the cloud began to move and the wind caressed the smooth contours of his youthful face, a wide smile, greater than any he had grinned before, began to spread across his face.

How could it not? He was about to see God.

To Swim

The Sea by Night

I took a walk along the sea by night

Waves invited me as they crashed and roared

Inviting me into the cool waters

I felt and sensed the spray upon my face

 

But I did not swim. It isn’t time yet

Instead I sat at its edge pondering,

Remembering. I think with clarity

Here, when I can see with my eyes what waits.

 

Waters reach my feet but it isn’t time

It isn’t my time, but it’s another’s

I’ll get to swim one day. I long for it.

 

Until then, I will walk the earth on foot

It is forbidden to wade in early

But hope for the day breathes inside my heart