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(from Brainstorms)

Clouds closed in.

Fog so thick it seemed easier

To let myself become engulfed

Rather than try to climb

To higher ground.

The peaks seemed farther away

Each day

I followed the path

That led down instead of up.

Did I have a choice?


Lost myself.

I lost myself.

How does that even happen?

To stand on my own two feet

And let myself

Slip away.


I wrote this poem as a reflection on a time of personal challenge. All I wanted was to find my way to solid ground, a place where I could recognize myself again. Now, several years after writing this poem, my perspective is a little different. Looking back on that time, I wonder if what I considered to be resignation could instead be framed as a courageous surrender. At the time, I judged myself as being weak, unable to pull myself up when I felt down. But what if letting go was instead a brave choice, an opening to receive support from others and to the possibility that I could be transformed through the experience?

Lately, I've noticed myself feeling lost in a different way from time to time. The world around me feels less and less familiar. I wonder, sometimes, what kind of world we are moving toward, and how I want to be a part of that movement. Perhaps this is a feature of reaching a certain stage of life. Could it be that we start our lives lost and learn to make sense of the world in a certain way, only to become lost again as things change and our illusions of normal slip away? Or maybe life is a series of surrenders, an ever-unfolding invitation to experience ourselves in new ways.

Last night, my family and I celebrated the start of Passover. Each year, something new stands out to me in the retelling of the story of Exodus. This year, I've been reflecting on the courage and faith of the Israelites as they left Egypt toward a completely unknown destination. As intolerable as their experience was in Egypt, what they were moving toward was an idea, a promise, and there was no guarantee that they would arrive in their own lifetime.

One of my favorite parts of the Passover story is when the Israelites arrived at the sea, and Miriam, Moses's sister, took out a tambourine and led the women forward with song. In her hurry to leave Egypt with only the most essential items, she packed a musical instrument. Maybe she had a sense that, while the promised destination might be a beacon, it was music and joy and connection that would get them through the journey. Somehow, I feel like I can relate to that instinct. Maybe you can too.

This week brings holy days in many cultures. However you celebrate, may these days bring you a sense of renewal and hope, perhaps with a song.

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