Keep Going

It’s 3 a.m., your eyes are white
Keep going, just keep going
Another day without a night
Keep going, just keep going

Tumultuous your dreams were tossed,
Where much is given, much is lost,
And money never covers cost
Keep going, just keep going

I look, and see her sleeping there
Get going now, get going
I stop and sit to stroke her hair
Get going now, get going

As early comes another day.
She sighs, and then she turns away,
I think, and hope, she’ll be okay
Get going now, get going

We do not know what is to come
Keep going, just keep going
And where and what will heal the numb
Keep going, just keep going

But life is this: one dare, one chance,
One spotlight on a single dance,
And one way we must all advance,
Though when, there is no knowing –

Keep going, then.
Keep going, just

Keep

Going

Advice for A New Year

Feel the truth you’re supposed to feel,
Be the person you should be;
Keep it low and keep it real,
Occupy your destiny.

Show the love you’re supposed to show,
Be the difference you’d see made —
Then go where you’re meant to go,
Unencumbered,
Unafraid

 


Photo credit : D 106374284 Yuliya Baturina | Dreamstime.com

Freedom Comes…

Freedom comes
The day you realize
You don’t have to dictate the terms
Under which people can interact with you

Freedom comes
The day you realize
That kind words are rarer than
Critical ones by a factor of forty,
And hence worth sharing

Freedom comes
The moment you know
That love is always what it was,
It was you that needed
A little changing

Freedom comes
That hour you first know
That life is not a competition
Except, maybe, for being
The purest form
Of you

Freedom comes
When you grant, everywhere you can,
Others the same freedom you’ve found,
And rejoice in it

For Love of Dancing

For those of you keeping track at home (and if you are not at home, why aren’t you) this is day 20 of my 30 day non-poetry writing challenge. – Owen


For as long as she could, she danced: wherever, whenever. Every day.

She didn’t dance because she was the best at it. She didn’t dance for the attention. She danced for love of dancing, for the pure joy of it.

Long before I met, and fell in love with, and married her, she had this other love. Through the ups and downs of childhood, and adolescence, and a turbulent young adulthood, and a failed first marriage, she had this.

Music made her want to dance. Dance made her free. For real joy always comes both from the outside in, and from the inside out.

She was very good at it, and it did garner her a lot of attention. In addition, she got to the point where she could be paid to do it, and to teach it, so she did both.

While she was still a teen, she had been told she had structural deficiencies in her knees – parts weren’t there that should be – and that she probably ought to give up her more athletic pursuits, as one or the other of her knees could give out at any point.

But given the cause, she reasoned, that was ultimately going to happen anyway. So she danced: wherever, whenever.

When I showed up in her life, she had three daughters, and all of them danced as well. The eldest was slim, graceful, and her body expressed itself naturally in dance: but she loved dancing for the attention more than the feeling, and so ultimately fell away. The middle girl loved the creative aspect of dancing, and dreamed of maybe being a choreographer; but other disciplines offered her the same chance for creativity, and so she too fell away.  The youngest danced only because she wanted her mother to be proud of her, so she fell away the soonest.

We have a niece, though, who has continued to dance and to teach dance for love of dancing. Even with a young family, and a busy career: because not to do so is unthinkable for her.

My wife’s knees eventually got to the point where the kind of dancing she loved was not possible anymore. But we can, and do, dance some at wedding receptions; I also often catch her dancing with one or more of our grandchildren in the living room, as the familiar signs joy on her face have me falling in love with her all over again.

“Dancing”, for you, may be some other thing. It may be riding a bicycle, or running, or playing basketball; it may be writing, or going to the movies, or participating in poetry readings; it may be music, or painting, or drawing, or cooking, or surfing, or blogging — but, whatever it is, cherish your joy. Nourish it. Love it while you have it.

For the lessons of love and joy are the same: they’re born, they grow, they will change, and they will ultimately pass away. Part of life is about wringing every bit out of these experiences while we can, then letting them go when we must.

So dance for as long as you can: whenever, wherever.

Every day.