Monday, October 4, 2010


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Recently, a friend of mine experienced the tragedy of losing a family pet. While fighting back tears and trying to control the quiver in his voice (because big boys don’t cry), he described the depth of the attachment he had for his lost pet.
“I bought her as a gift to myself when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life”, my friend lamented.

As my friend continued to talk about his dearly departed pet, my mind began to draft a poem for him; a tribute to the devotion that was clearly resonate, despite the one hundred or so miles that separated us as we spoke. Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by my friend’s admission of his contribution to the demise of his beloved. His pain was audible in each word he spoke. Yet I don’t think he recognized his guilt.

“Every woman that’s been in my life has left me”, he said.

My heart ached for my friend. Then my poem began to recede.

“He caused this”, said my poem. “How do we honor this memory”?

I tried to push past this inner conflict to complete my intended gift. I wondered: had he unintentionally treated his women as he did this pet?

I wanted to talk to my friend about this but I was sure that neither our friendship nor his ego could survive the conversation. Out of an abundance of caution, I tabled that discussion and frustrated my poem. But I have not stopped thinking about the idea that we have the ability to care deeply for people and things and miss caring for them altogether.

A significant part of my own growth has been learning and clearly communicating how I want to be loved. And then being strong enough not to allow substitutions for what I require.  Conversely, I am prepared to reciprocate in that regard. I want to authentically love the way that authentic love requires. I think I’m getting close…I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I leave you with the following poem entitled, “Adoration”. It is a tribute to my friend’s loss. Sometimes we have to allow Time to do what Time does: teach us and give us room and hope to love again. I’m standing still and I’m almost there. Selah!


(for Daisy and Rosie)

With you in my care,
I am free from a legacy of abandonment;

You are adored,
and I will never forget you.

You are my reward;
an impassioned investment of my heart,
a tangible remuneration of my soul;
only this life and the appropriation of time can separate us.

You are adored,
and I will never forget you.

Every step we’ve taken
draws our landscape and colors the canvas
of our infinite and reciprocal love--

You are adored,
and I will never forget you.