Thursday, January 1, 2009

After a While

While cleaning out my dresser the other day I found an envelope that a friend had sent to me back in 1999. The envelope was creatively made from a magazine ad and I thought, at first, that perhaps that was the reason I had kept it (with the thought of someday being "crafty" and duplicating it). I decided to take a look inside and found a printed card with the poem "After a While" printed on it. I think, maybe, that it was sent to me after some sort of break-up or relationship that wasn't but I think that it might apply to general life in some respects, too. As we say goodbye to 2008, and start anew in 2009, I thought it might be relevant.

Here's how I think it might apply to me: I don't make resolutions but I think it's time to say goodbye to "stuff." I need to learn that holding on to material things, because I attribute some sort of memory to them, is not going to make me happy (nor will getting rid of the object mean I must get rid of the memory). I need to let go and live in the present going forward. I seem to have a way of staying stuck in the past. I need to make my own happiniess and share it with those around me. I need to just live life and stop waiting for life to happen. I know there are other ways I can apply it but I need to go live life (away from the computer).

Here's the poem (my copy says "Author Unknown" but my internet research shows that it was likely written by Veronica Shoffstall in 1971):


After a While
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With all the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And 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 sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plan 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...
That you really are strong
And you really have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn.

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