Monday, June 4, 2012


Like a crate of rubber ducklings lost at sea, we are all adrift, slowly spreading far and wide on our own journeys. I can see the other ducklings bobbing further and further away. There are new horizons and yet, seeing the others drifting away is painful. It will never be as this again. I have the military to thank for my acute awareness of the brevity of each day, each friendship.

The short bus sewing circle came to an end today, and I was unprepared. My friend consoled me, "You'll find another group in Ohio or you'll make one!" It wasn't that, but I was too much of a wreck to say it. There is no more of this, of this known moment, of this comfortable fit. I have to start from scratch again. I don't want another sewing group, I like the one I have just fine, but in a few weeks time we will be scattered across the seas like the ducklings spilled out from the same crate, the same place, but each off on our own adventures as destiny calls us.

There is a pattern of leaving and new beginnings that is such a part of life. I remember the pain of watching my parents leave me at university and feeling that with their vanishing car so went my childhood. After university, we graduates, roommates, made our way out to the world and so vanished those long nights of chatting, studying, and cooking, with a toss of a mortarboard.

From this vantage point in my life, I can touch only a few of those threads even now. I talk to my parents over the internet. I send Christmas cards to my college roommates and sometimes I see notes on Facebook from them. It is all so much less than real contact. It makes me reluctant to let go, to cross the next threshold and yet I always do.

My friend reminded me that we are better for having had the time that we had together.

I'm going some place I plan to stay for a long while, but I haven't lived there yet. Though I have passed through this portal before, it is no easier to say goodbye. I want to turn back and call everyone to come with me, but they can't come.

I have a lot of scraps, a lot of patterns, and I suppose, if they'll have me, I'll find a new sewing group to like, or I'll have a stand at the farmer's market selling my wares, some excuse to keep sewing. Then I'll organize my grand craft adventure and invite all my friends, old and new.

New adventures are wearisome. I think that is why we have to drift for a while, to build up our inner resources. Time to drift, soon it will be time to build again.

For the Interim Time, by John O'Donohue
When near the end of the day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,
No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been or what might come.
In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of dark.
You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.
The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.
“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”
You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.
Everyone has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.
As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.
What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

from Eric Carle 10 Little Rubber Ducks

1 comment :

  1. 6.4 tonnes. How wonderful to have a number for your weight in the world! I bet it is a lot less than most middle class Americans. I hate change too, and always have... and it seems to me that most of my friends are much better at it than me. The seem to find it so easy to brush the dust off their feet and get on with their new lives.


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