And what if my words...

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic — Diane Setterfield

It's been a whirlwind of a ride since I moved to Cleveland. My CPE experience is moving along. My group is feeling more and more cohesive. Tomorrow I have my first appointment with my new therapist. Frankie is coming in to visit this weekend. Nurses and doctors are starting to remember my name. And to top it all off, I've lost a few pounds and my resting heart rate has dropped significantly.

In case you haven't noticed, the blog posts haven't exactly been frequent as of late. The truth is I've still been writing, but it's been too close to home to make available to the public. In my time with patients, I often end my prayers for them asking God to tend to those prayers for which there are no words, those prayers that are too close to home to be uttered out loud. In my own solitude, I've realized that this prayer is as much for me as it is for them. Most of my prayers, my feelings, don't have words — at least none that come too easily. In a profession that is often founded on conversation, this sometimes leaves me frustrated.

This morning, we were privileged enough to have John Fox visit us to talk about poetry therapy and the use of poetry as a means of healing. We spent our time listening as John shared about his own experience with poetry, reading both some of his own work and some of his favorites from others, professionals and patients alike. Finally, we spent some time doing our own writing. John gave us several prompts from other poems we'd read in the session. I took my own prompt from a poem, As They Are by Barbara McEnerney. One of my colleagues has taken sharing her own poems as an act of vulnerability. I thought I might do the same...

And what if my words, stuck in my throat trapped in my chest, were loosed on the world, left to roam free in the woods where the trees and the brooks became their audience

The rocks and stones gaze at me while my verses erupt into the stillness. The creeks and rivers gurgle back sighs and echoes of affirmation. The wind blows, and the leaves whisper their rustled applause.

I sit, my back to the trunk of an oak tree near death. Its bark gives me back my words through silence and moss.

There I sit, and am loved...


photo credit: Chloe Hague via Flickr