Walking Away

It isn’t walking into an unknown future that’s scary. It’s the leaving.

There are few things harder than saying goodbye. Goodbye to people you love. Goodbye to a life you knew.  Last week I went to a funeral and watched my childhood friends and next-door neighbors say goodbye to their mom. Goodbyes are really, really hard.

Yesterday I made a difficult decision. I can safely say the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Now I have to say goodbye to my team. I must let go of work I’ve been doing for more than 25 years and embrace an unknown future. I can’t even imagine the words coming out of my mouth.  It isn’t the decision that is making my stomach do back flips.  I stand solidly behind my choice. No, the pit in my stomach comes every time I picture the farewell. It’s a sinking feeling I get when I chat with a teammate, a friend, who doesn’t know my internal struggle or can’t hear my heart screaming, “I don’t want to leave you!”  The goodbye will only sting them for a minute. I know my team will continue joyfully enjoying their work and each other — their hearts fully intact. It’s mine that will remain silently shattered.

Goodbye

It’s not the jump

that hurts,

nor the landing.

The fall exhilarates,

then the world solid

beneath your feet.

No, it’s not the ground

that hurts,

it’s the goodbye.

— 2/16/18 TC

 

 

Lemonade with Friends

I had the pleasure of having lunch with an old friend.  What to do with all our lemons?  Cheers! Just feeling glad I can share lemons with you.

Lemonade

by Trish Cozart

When life gives you lemons
They say
Make lemonade
Lemonade?
I don’t even like lemonade
There isn’t an aid
That can turn lemons into something
Not lemony
Watered down
Sugared-up
Sourness

Life gave him lemons
He threw them
Hard
Hard lemonade

Life gave her lemons
She pretended
Lemons were good
They weren’t

Life gave sugar water
To some
Or so it seems

Be glad you have lemons
Lemons are a gift
Lemons are your fault
Lemons are not that bad
Just add sugar and water
 

But…I don’t even like lemonade.

 

 

 

Stubborn Beauty

Beautiful even in death, this gnarly tree reached out its arms as a greeting, or possibly a warning, on my way to Lincoln Lake near Mt. Evans.

I’m always delighted and often surprised by the surroundings on hikes in my native Rocky Mountains. It is a rare day when a rushing rill or a sneaky squirrel doesn’t touch my heart and lighten my spirit. Today, it was death that amazed me. The death of trees burned in a fire. A burn area with remarkable trees—trees that refused to lay down their lives. Rather than pathetic scorched snags or trunks littering the ground, what remained were beautiful brown cores with scraggly branches forever reaching out —like the arms of lovers on John Keats’ Grecian urn.

“With forest branches and the trodden weed;
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
         When old age shall this generation waste,
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
–from John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn

Living trees give mankind shelter, food, and medicine, and thus, have long provided us with symbolic and metaphorical fodder for life. Yet not in life, but in death, did these trees leave me a poetic freeze-frame.  The stubborn branches whispered as I walked by: Beauty is truth, truth beauty, –that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Cast in the shadow of a cloud, you can see how trees like these could conjure up the likeness of monsters or mystical beings. It is easy to see where Tolkien came up with Ents–tree creatures in Lord of the Rings.

Say It Quick. Listen Long. Share Your Soul.

poetry

Just some of the pages and papers I’ve uncovered from years of writing poetry and tucking it away.

Poetry is amazing. It allows anyone to capture something humongous in a tiny little box. I like to think of a poem as the busy (or lazy) person’s novel. Poems share riddles of life and only take minutes to read, but much longer to digest and untangle.

I subscribe to very few email lists. There is one and only one I read every day – Poem-a-Day from the American Academy of Poets. You get modern day previously unpublished poems on weekdays and classic poems on the weekends.

Reading these poems day after day inspired me to share my own poetry on crossing the midline. Sharing is scary. It exposes my soul. It opens me up to criticism. What if people think it’s dumb? What if they think I’m too simple? Not smart enough? Not talented? Stop. The voices in our heads need to stop. Remember our stories and poems are US and we all have value. Our experiences and ideas are unique and they mean something.

Sharing also sometimes feels like giving up…like you are never going to get published if you share your work. But I finally came to this conclusion…poetry is rarely lucrative, but it is life. I’d rather share these verses with my friends and family and the world, for which it was written–even in this small corner of the digital universe—than lose more of it on failed hard drives or tossed away on dinner napkins. I encourage you to join me. Share your soul. Open your door just a little wider and watch what happens.