Saturday, April 09, 2005

For the soul

Learn With Every Goodbye
(author unknown)
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 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.
And after a while, you learn
That even 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...
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn
and learn...
With every goodbye, you learn.
I was reminded of this poem on Thursday night, as someone shared the painful story of their recent breakup with their now ex-boyfriend.
My best friend gave me this poem several years ago, probably after I watched the guy I'd had a mad crush on for years finally get married. It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose. Anyway, this poem has long been a source of encouragement for me, and it is one of my favorite poems.
As a bit of a poet myself, I wonder if the Unknown Author ever wishes they were known. Then again, there is a certain measure of joy that comes from knowing your work is being read, even if you aren't being given a whole lot of credit for it. I can say that now, being a relatively unpublished and unknown author myself. However, I may feel differently if my work were being widely circulated, with "Unknown" getting all the credit.

Hi, I just stumbled on your blog through the "Next Blog" button on the upper-right corner.

"Learn With Every Goodbye" is one of my favorite poems as well. A friend sent it to me in a card when I graduated from high school. I've saved it, and often re-read it since then.

I think the poem speaks a lot about growing up, maturing and coming into your own. I like how it shows different portions of growth happening at different times. My friend who gave me the card said she included the poem because it reminded her of me. I took that as a great compliment! Even ten years later, I feel that I'm still learning the lessons mentioned in the poem.
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