As I continue my day-to-day writing, I find that every day is a day of remembering. The words of family and friends, who are no longer in this world, surprise me on the page. Their wit and wisdom help me to lighten up and actually, to feel more alive.
It seems that my ancestors and departed friends are still interested in my life – we are still in relationship in some way. Perhaps, writing helps to bridge the gap between the visible and invisible worlds, insuring that our awareness of love never dies and that forgiveness can happen at any point in time.
The following is a poem I wrote one afternoon after a tap class with my friends. On the joy of the class and openness of my imagination, words came from my maternal grandmother who died when my mother was a child. I felt connected to the accepting, forgiving, “life goes on” wisdom of my grandmother.
I feel myself
before the night that stole my youthful dreams
the ones that ricocheted off everyone’s expectations and my own
The night took away my light I thought
Did my soul choose to trudge the path worn by my Magdalene sisters?
Hidden beneath mismatched dreams folded in on one another?
The grandmother I never knew
was called Lena
short for Magdalene, a name too large to speak in the every day
I’ve called to her for wisdom, for love and she answered,
She rises now in my sleep, in my garden and in the silence.
As the sun slants golden in the afternoon, she says,
“See, it’s not too late to enjoy the light.”
Here’s a Writing Exercise to Help with Remembering: Write a letter to a departed friend or ancestor – put the letter away and later write a letter back to you, from them. This act of imagination has the power to connect us to the capacities of being human, self-reflection, memory, intuition, forgiveness and humor.