Monday, September 26, 2005


I have a blog friend who is traveling a difficult road right now. She is in the final stages of closing a rocky chapter in her life. I went through the same thing several years ago, and as she writes of her journey through to the end of this chapter, it causes me to nod my head along with her knowingly.

I don’t know her well, but I remember these steps and the emotions accompanying them, vividly as if they just happened. This alone seems to bring her deep into my circle of concern and empathy.

I find myself wanting to tell her things. Things for which I can’t seem to find the exact words. I’d really love to just sit with her for a while, with a steaming pot of tea to split between us, and just talk about things. When I went through it all, it seemed there was no one in my life who could understand. People tried to help, usually by making jokes about it or saying completely inappropriate things as people tend to do when they don’t know what to say. She has said things that indicate to me she’s running into this as well.

Much as I knew it was the right thing to do to move on, and regardless there would be no returning to where I once was, ever – it didn’t make it easy. It hurt like hell. Even being awake hurt like hell. It’s very difficult to accept that a huge part of what defines your life turned out to be wrong, and in effect you must start over with yourself.

I remember how valuable one particular friend was to me while I went through it all. The only person in the world who could even closely relate to what I was going through. Others were sympathetic, but no one else really understood. This wonderful Godsend companion is still very, very close at hand. :) My blog friend has a similar figure in her life – and for this I am very happy. They are learning and growing together, and I see that already she is healing.

It’s difficult to understand why we must go through such times of trial and heartache. It’s hard to wrap your head around what the benefit could possibly be, to bear such burdens. All things do happen for a reason though. The older I get, the more I see and believe this to be true. I walked through the depths of hell those many years ago, but I can see the difference it made in me. It changed me into a wiser, more grounded person – it equipped me with tools I needed to continue into broader lands and deeper valleys and greater challenges. My friend is being tempered in the fire, and when she’s through it, she’ll be stronger and wiser for the wear. She is becoming what she was destined to be.

A fire can decimate a forest. Leave a once thriving ecosystem all but wiped out. But in time, shoots come up through the black carbon. Flowers bloom. Saplings become trees and fauna returns. A richer, more lush fortress replaces what was there before, nourished by the ashes left by the tragedy of what came prior.


Bainwen Gilrana said...

Wow.... I think I might cry.

Thank you, my blog-sister. :-)

Scott Glassman said...

Interesting to think . . . what happens when the surfaces of us are razed . . . made ash by experience . . . what arises? i struggle with that question a lot, and here imagination can come in, and project us into a fauna-rich future (as you put it so well). I am reading a book by Gregory Orr called "Poetry as Survival" which will become a close friend in the coming weeks, I am almost certain.

Bougie Black Boy said...

Clew, Bainwen is my lil sister, too. I remember the days when she begged to wear my cordoroy pants and I forced her to let me cut her hair (myself). . .

You're a good writer. This was very sweet, tender. Your description (at the end) of course is amazingly pure. You should be a nature writer.

Tirithien said...

Beautiful, to say the least.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Hey.... what do you mean "lil sister," Stephen? You're not even 5 months older than I am!

Cheryl said...

One of my favorite quotes, although I don't know who said it, is: "My house having burned down, I can now see the moon." You said it better.