Friday, June 27, 2008

After a While

There's a random poem that I memorized while I was in high school, back in the day when hearts were young and susceptible to bruises and tears. For some reason it has kept coming back to me this week.

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that loving doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't mean always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises.
You begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even the sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every good-bye you learn.
-Veronica A. Shoffstall

So there's a lot there I agree with (I'm not afraid to buy my own flowers!), a lot that I still am not sold on yet (I WANT to believe in my future and have it not fail in mid-flight and still be strong), and a lot that I'm learning (what is the difference between holding hands, kissing, and true, genuine commitment?!?). I feel a surprising gift of grace--and I look forward to see where it takes me.

And yes, I do have a sunburn... that's what happens on days you work from home and can work at the pool...


Vicki said...

I had this poem in the front of my journal for years back in college. I still love it.

Laurel said...

This poem is so familiar but I guarantee I wasn't smart enough in high school to think it would EVER apply to me.
I think most of it's true...darn it.

Robin Lunt said...

i do love this poem....and i think that there's a tinge of pessimism in it as's an important reality check/recovery poem, but maybe not the best leap of faith poem... you're great Jenny!

The Harkness Family said...

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary, and I must say I see the world slightly different than Ms. Shoffstall.

Anonymous said...

14th Wedding Anniversary or not, I think that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Love a seesta.