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Listening for the “Next Song” in Our Lives

March 4, 2011

This poem stumbled on me this morning, amidst a painful time.  What does it mean to receive the treasures of life not as a possession but as a gift?  Including people?  How do we live in gratitude for what has been given without demanding that it continue to be experienced in the same way?  How do we release people we love to grow differently toward the new than how we knew and loved them in the before?  As much as we want to “bottle up” the way things were, or have been, how do we live in constant openness to the “the next song” in our lives — and in theirs?

Only Once

All which, because it was

flame and song and granted us

joy, we thought we’d do, be, revisit,

turns out to have been what it was

that once, only; every invitation

did not begin

a series, a build-up: the marvelous

did happen in our lives, our stories

are not drab with its absence: but don’t

expect to return for more.  Whatever more

there will be will be

unique as those were unique. Try

to acknowledge the next song in its body — halo of flames as utterly

present, as now or never.

~ Denise Levertov ~

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gann Herman permalink
    March 4, 2011 11:44 am

    Denise Levertov nailed it…and we so easily forget, and try so hard to have the best things again and again. Gifts for this once….that is hard to say “ok” to.
    Thank you

  2. Sandra Kerr permalink
    March 21, 2011 10:20 am

    change and loss … especially when what was seemed ideal … hard, hard, hard. Hard to truly allow ‘His grace’ to be ‘new every morning’, hard not to want to hang on to what was … Ever read ‘A Grace Disguised’ by Sittser ? He deals with this issue incredibly well. thanx for posting Chris.

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