The In-Between



The In-Between

(from Brainstorms)


I can feel the seasons changing

and I don’t like it.

Not this time.


I can feel it in the morning air on my arms

urging me to turn back and grab a jacket.

The chill feels too unfamiliar.


I feel it in the gentle creases on my face

that greet me each morning,

the silver sparkles

that are sprouting on my head.

They surprise me every day.


I feel it in the picture of my kids by my bed,

frozen on a day several years ago

that I can hardly remember.


The leaves that fall on the road

stir my imagination

of ghosts and goblins and

the circularity of time.

But I’m not ready for hibernation.


This year I want to hold on

to the carefree frolic of summer,

of breezy dresses and flip-flops,

and days that bleed into night

as the sun refuses to close his eyes

even as the moon begins her evening climb.


This year I want to stay in

the in-between.




This year’s in-between is different from the one in this poem from 2015, my summer of Saturday night karaoke on the patio of a Greek restaurant called Santorini. Still, I’ve had such a strong resonance with the poem lately in a way I hadn’t been able to articulate. Then, a couple week’s ago I shared poems with friends Nico Cary and Orlando Villarraga on Dr. Dan Siegel’s weekly webcast. A line in one of Nico’s poems has haunted me ever since:


“i miss what I did not know i needed to remember i would miss.”


These lines have echoed through me, first in Nico’s voice, then my own, stirring some deep well of grief. Even though I had so much to do this week, I slowed down to allow the feelings to surface.


“i miss what I did not know i needed to remember i would miss.”


I thought about making a list of all the people, places, and activities I miss. But the missing is deeper than that and less tangible. Perhaps it's carefreeness I wrote about in the poem, the moments I took for granted, or the rushing to get somewhere instead of staying a little longer where I was. Maybe what I miss is the illusion that I understood the world and my place in it, the imagined certainty of what comes next. In the great spiral of time, I don’t know what this in-between really is.


As I sat outside to write and reflect on Nico’s words, I heard a squawking from the trees off my deck. I looked up and saw a hawk. The hawk took flight across the canyon and then several smaller birds started flying after the hawk. My first thought was, Why are the little birds chasing the big bird? And then I realized, they are not chasing the hawk; they are learning to fly.


May we all find the courage to test our fledgling wings in this in-between.


xoxo,

Jennifer