Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Burning the Old Year
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn't,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn't do
crackle after the blazing dies.
Naomi Shihab Nye
This poem appealed to me because I am currently sorting and discarding, just as she describes. I suspect many of us are involved in this same process. It is always hard to decide what part of your past to let go of, since in fact each item is a part of your history, who you are. Everything goes into the making of your identity, including your spiritual self. And some of it is too precious to relinquish. I myself do not wish to forego the past, but rather to honor it and integrate it into who I am now and who I am becoming. When we rummage through our boxes, we relive our lives and see the threads of relationship and the process of unfolding over the years. We took many steps, went through many phases to arrive at where we now are.
(Image from Wikipedia)