But that was in another country…

The first time was more dramatic

a long time coming

after the fact utterly foreseeable

Inherited predispositions

Unhealed wounds from early traumas

Hungry for love, angry, lonely

tired of the unending bitterness

besmirching and despoiling every undertaking

the more hopeful, the more foully

Love, recognition, achievement, success –

Forget about it

Not to mention hardwired from the get-go

for higher highs and lower lows

Life lived always then provisional,

optional until a more attractive choice

might present itself

Meanwhile make do with the handiest

subculturally approved soporifics

until they no longer quite packed the punch

and misery tired of loving company


That time it was a close call

turned away at the first door knocked on

the second blessedly opened

received into a space

where a deadly malady

was already holding court

Good thing

The next door was marked EXIT

A bottom firm enough to stand on

Safe just long enough

to take a walk

into an utter strangeness

where strangers delivered in familiar words

strange messages of deliverance


at last a shot at a life worth living


able freely to receive

what was freely offered


to find the fortitude to live

into another way

to stumble and take wrong turns and go astray

without looking for THIS WAY OUT

Given the givens, a miracle

a miracle lived surely enough and gratefully

though not yet truly seen

Good enough

So thank you

Get on with it

Keep on keeping on

And so thereby a second life

or the same life with a reset


Being at last in the world

this world

Life 101

How to

Step by Step

Life 201

Life 301

Life 401

No terminal degree in sight

Up hills, down dales

left turns, right turns

right turns, wrong turns

backtrack, forge ahead

Yes, anger

Yes, sorrow

Yes, partings

No, despair

Keep on keeping on



Look around, down, up, out, in, backward, forward

Say please

and most especially thank you

Notice the generosity

Not having to deserve

For sure often

still a babe in the woods

not yet mastering

the art of  staying on track

Keeping on keeping on

Eventually really taking it for granted

even when not really taking it for granted

New playmates, playgrounds, playthings

and then again new ones

More will be revealed

Just show up

Try new things, ancient things

Go deep

Discover body

Discover soul

Learn to sit

Learn to breathe

Discover fire

Pay attention

It’s all good

Even when it’s bad, it’s good

good to leave

in the rear view mirror

Pay attention


But not always

Don’t always want to

Know better, yes

but ignorance sometimes is bliss

or wishing would have it so


Getting older

aches and pains go with the territory

Regular checkups

Tune up the diet

Drop some pounds

Take a couple of pills just in case

Do what needs to be done

to keep the craziness at bay

It’s all good

Until it’s not

But that is in another country


And so the second time

And so the second time

came without warning

which is to say, there were ample signs

signals encoded

in an unlearnt language

from another land

so there was no need to trouble

about what they signified

The first time troubles was all there was

still unprepared when the storm blew in

taking down ancient timbers on its way

Way more ready

the second time, knowing

how to sit

how to breathe

how to pay attention

how to let go and surrender

even when not wanting to

how to lean in and not run

who to call

not alone in the universe

Played it nevertheless close for comfort

A little prelude, yes, on an unseasonably

summerly late September Saturday

A little more emphatic

the signals flaring upwards

but not enough to command attention

or change a game plan

practice in the morning

good deeds in the afternoon

music in the evening

singing along til heart’s content

practice again in the morning

no sweat beyond the usual

Namaste and off

to the big box to pick up

a couple pillows and some edibles

make way for a stressed out mom

with fussy kids at the checkout

home for lunch

The play proper commences

when your heart speaks listen

no fooling now

no amount of breathing

no amount of stretching

there, insistently, center stage

houselights going down

for the main performance

a voyage off to terra incognita

check the program

review the scenarios

make the call

consider the options

follow suit

get ready, batten down

set off

off never to return

this side of paradise

into the channel outward

let the pilots board

who know the way, they say

a last few hasty leave-takings

no fear

all in good hands

fair weather

for now

clouds gather

skies darken

down, then, and out

out, then, and up and away

and down again

out where many go

all eventually

few return

Keeping company with angels

go with it, wherever it goes

dream scenes in black and white

through a far portal

companies of caring spirits

smooth sailing mostly

until the far shore approaches

rough berthing

breathe, she said

and that was all


How strangely moored

new light, new space

known faces, welcoming

speaking in half-remembered

half-unlearnt tongues

of half-remembered things

but that was in another country

and so we begin again

take it from the top



let go




only connect

that is all

for now

in another country, another time

new customs, new habits, new thoughts

don’t sweat the small stuff

it’s a miracle, all of it

for real

appearances deceive

this side of paradise

nothing is the same.

4 thoughts on “But that was in another country…

  1. I am glad you made it back from the portal. Telling about it is an extra bonus. As Molly says at the end of “Ulysses,” “yes.”


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