Memory Lane – Monday Night Poetry

November 18 2023

Monday Night Poetry – Such an amazing, beautiful, poetic group of folks. I love poetry nights!

I shared an oldie, but tweaked it a bit for my current mood.

Memory Lane

Why did the beautiful and fun memories hurt so badly
Why did her chest feel
heavy and her stomach in knots

The place where she and her children had spent seven years of their lives.

The place where her youngest spent their young life from one year old through eight years old.

Driving past the many sidewalks and the trail where she had taken walks alone, walks with
just her youngest, and walks
together as a family.

Driving past the home
her parents had lived,
the home she and her kids had lived, the second home her parents had lived.

Remembering neighbors she had chatted with. Remembering
the spread of holiday cheer.

Oh, the pain, the pain.
Why do such wonderful memories hurt her heart?

Why does she feel
a sense of loss
no longer living
in this neighborhood? No longer having
her parents live
in the same neighborhood.

Why does she feel
like nothing turned out as she had wanted?

Why does she feel like she has failed her children in
not providing them with the same kind of home that they loved so much
in their early childhood?

Why does she feel
like she has given up?

Why do the tears flow in mourning something that never really was?
She keeps reminding herself that nothing is permanent. The only thing that’s permanent is change Itself.

She reminds herself that home is truly where the heart is.
Yet, what if the heart is closed and calls bullshit on that.

What if she reminds herself that none of
it seems to have gone as she wanted it to go,
the way she dreamed
it would.

Seems as if she
has been but
a piece of sand
in a vast ocean
of life tossing
her here and there into this experience and that experience.

She thinks she should not return to this place if it is so painful …
but then she knows
she must keep returning until she has felt
all the pain there
is to feel, for in
feeling the pain and being with the pain
loving the pain
embracing the pain
is she assured
of the joy and beauty that awaits her
on the other side
of the pain.

She may not have
fully let herself
feel the pain at the time she and her children
had to leave their
home and neighborhood.

Brushed it under
the heart she did.

Believing she did not have to feel the pain. She knows she let herself feel some of the pain.
Yet, there is more there.

She makes a new commitment to continue to visit this neighborhood until she has let herself feel every single bit
of grief, guilt, and sadness there is to feel.

She will feel it, feel the
aches in her chest, feel
the knots in her stomach
feel and taste the salty tears as they stream down her face.

She reflects back on these times as some of the happiest of her
and her children’s lives.
So carefree and joyful.
Doing many things together
as a family, many adventures, every trip in the car an adventure.

It seems those times are no longer. Where have they gone? The kids are no longer kids. One a teenager and one a preteen. Change.
Change is the nature
of life. This season of autumn reminds us always that this
is how it flows. Change.

Why did she grip so tightly to that time in her life,
in her kids’ lives?
Why does she not want to let it go? Why does she remember it with longing?
Why does she feel lost in shifting to this
new normal for her and her kids?

Interests have shifted. What was fun and exciting is no longer.
How does she go with the flow, with the change, without clinging to the Past?

She does it one breath at a time.
One blink at at time.
One step at a time.
One gratitude thought at a time.
One fucking meltdown at a time.
One act of kindness at a time. One smile at a time.

With kindness and love directed to herself and her heart.
She does it by observing and not letting herself
get caught in the spiral
of emotions. Or spiraling with the emotions.

Be with them, feel them,
and let them release to reveal the new normal. As it will only
be the new normal for a short time.

That is the nature
of life.
For life will support
in whatever stage of life one finds one’s self.

Nature is the Gift that allows one to experience change and the cyclical nature of life.
Be still. Feel the emotions. Let them pass through
like the wind passes through the autumn leaves. And know.
This is life.

We are always on our way home.
November 2017
Camilla Downs