Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Letter

Our scene: imagine a woman in her 50s or 60s, living alone, who discovers she has an incurable (but not too painful) disease. She is about the strange business of dying. She writes this letter to a friend she hasn't seen for a while ..

I am not who I was. This wasting flesh
Has carried me across the cusp of time
Into a chartless land, my world grows still
And I no longer fear the chariots.

Once I was young, and thought that being wise
Meant the great need for knowing everything,
As if to understand was to control.
Now there is wisdom in the sitting still.

Yes, it is Autumn here, the colours fade,
The sky is so intense, the world winds down,
And, like the slow, soft shedding of the leaves,
Each day, in sunlit sadness, I let go.

I thought there would be terror in this place:
A scrabbling and a scrambling of the flesh
And faith the trumpet call upon the walls ..
And every muscle poised to fight the fight.

But this is weariness that seeks for rest
And faith is simply turning in His arms,
The arms that have been always holding me
This is a journey back towards my love.

For goodbye is a melancholy word
But not the worst, far worse were to remain
And play the fool to time’s unravelling
And be afraid to leave an empty stage.

I am not who I was, for now I know
That the not knowing truly is enough
And love is bigger than I ever guessed,
And while my autumn shrinks, I am at rest.

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