worn other peoples faces,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“hurry, you will be dead before ——”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
or before the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Now there is time
and time is young,
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move
I, the pursued who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still and stop the Sun!
I feel like this is the perfect poem for my life now. For so long, I've been tormented by anxiety and depression and I'm not fooling myself that those won't be constant companions on my journey. But, I love the lines "Now I become myself. It’s taken Time, many years and places."
I'm forty-six years old and I sometimes stop believing I was ever a "maiden" in her twenties, excited, always running to something new, and then I was married at age twenty-three, which I shudder to think about, because at that time, I still had dreams of the perfect family. I was going to have one no matter what it took because I was denied my dreams of a fantasy childhood. I mean really, who has had one? I'd like to meet them. But from my marriage I was given the most precious gift I would ever receive . Even though I became divorced three years later I had my son. I became the "Mother." Full of abundance, a new type of sensuality I could never have seen in my twenties and yet full of sorrows being a single mother. Along with the wonders, I also gained a new anxiety for the safety of my son, that most mother's develop when they have a child.
Whenever I imagined, my son, Alexander hurt in any way, I would be thrown into this deep, dark, dry well of fear and stay stuck until I somehow climbed out. Much like "Cassandra from Troy" I started to "run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a warning, hurry you will be dead before...." My son and I struggled together emotionally with him projecting all his anger and sorrow from an alcoholic, unavailable and unstable father onto me. It's only lately within the last few years that I can forgive myself for not being able to provide what he so desperately needed and wanted, for his idea of a perfect childhood. He also acknowledges that I did the best I could and he told me, I was one of the only constant things in his life and I continue to fulfill that touchstone for him. I haven't learned to stop the sun, but I'm not burned up with fear and paralyzed that I'm eventually going to be a crone. Being a Crone will bring it's own wise and wonderful rewards. That's why it's so important to have mentors and to be a mentor to others, to remind yourself of all the blessings and lessons it took to be where you are today.
Where are you in your life? Are you running or have you finally been able to catch your breath and know that life is good?
May Sarton one of my absolute favorite poets, so if you love poetry full of images and magic, check out her works.
And if you have any poets that you like, please let me know as I love poetry!
Blessings to you all....