The culmination of painful farewells,
of cultural stress, of difficult adjustment
accompanied with too many emotions,
and with too little time to absorb.
This place is not the adjustment,
I am the adjustment.
I want to pull away into my ivory tower,
just for a while.
I want to read, to write,
to meditate, to mourn.
but instead I stare at walls, at trees,
not really seeing.
Every part of me shrinks
from contact with eye, with hand.
I do not want physical proximity.
I do not want emotional intimacy.
I care only about me,
the part I am distant from.
I need to rebuild, rework
my framework inside.
I am stretched by grieving.
My life seems to have lost its shape,
left with feelings of rootlessness,
tangled among my thoughts.
I want to belong
but experience separateness.
I want simplicity
but experience complexity.
I want because I do not have.
I do not have inner harmony
in my spirit, my mind, my body.
The outside clamors for its needs,
louder than the inside.
The outward must be met
Before the inward can receive.
I want a “home”.
Curtains, tulips, blue delft,
pewter, a trick of a clock,
The walls of my new home are sallow,
the mattress leaves the shape of its previous owner,
windows etched with someone else’s prints.
My soul identifies with my surroundings.
It is as if color and space
are the corridors of my spirit.
Once furnished, they become the background
for my inner thoughts to have a place to rest.
I have no problem decorating a room
but how does one refurbish one’s heart?
I have this moment to renew,
for I am “in between”.
As I lay on this scratched wooden floor,
listening to music, a deep chord touches within,
I began to mourn for what was.
I weep until emptied.
As the music penetrates my soul,
I slowly let go of the old,
cautiously embrace the new.
Perhaps now I can begin, again.
This article is a classic originally published in our early print magazines.