How deep your aliveness goes…..

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I’ve been walking down roads where my words won’t follow,
where they park themselves at the trailhead and sit down to eat a snack
because they wince to hear the language of these wild places
where the wind bleeds a howling sound that shakes me to the bone.
Grief has such a deep voice it’s hard to listen long,
maybe because I’ve been afraid that I might make out what it’s saying.

But it’s not as commanding as I’d feared.
It really can’t swallow the whole of me like I’d always imagined it might.
It comes charging like a rogue wave,  sure,  sweeping up and tossing like a ragdoll
every bit of my bearing at times.
But I can ride it out.
It can’t hold me under longer than my breath will hold.
It just can’t.

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When I let go the fear that this pain is a shameful thing,
that deep sorrow is dangerous and indulgent and wasteful
and just surrender into the tumble,
I come up lighter,  less lost,  and letting myself be loved.

I read this recently and it spoke aloe over my burns:
“Watch the ones whose only option left is to lean into the questions.
The ones who are uninhibited by the unknown
because they’ve jumped into that gaping hole
and found themselves,  by grace,  unswallowable,”
(-Mandy Steward)

Wherever you’re braving to be all in,
know this:
the pain will not swallow you.
It just won’t.
Learn to un-fear it.
You’re more alive than you know.

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“Grief has a way of showing you
how deep your aliveness goes.”
– Alison Nappi

20 Comments

  1. Julia on February 23, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I can so relate to your words and Mandy Steward’s words today. For some reason, these words really are resonating with me and time came flashing back to when I was battling advanced breast cancer and was told I will probably die of it. That was December 2002 and I’m still here. I did learn to unfear it and yes, I was more alive than I knew.
    Thanks for your beautiful poetry.
    Hugs,
    JB

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Look at you being so alive! I love your story;
      thanks for sharing, Julia:)
      -Jennifer

  2. Elephant's Child on February 23, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.
    It has long been my mantra that I can do anything if I HVE to. So far, so good, though I would prefer that the theory waa less thoroughly tested.
    Grief has its season. Not something to get over, but something to learn to live with.
    Hugs to you and your dancing words. Always.

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Thanks for your heartfelt words and beautiful oceans:)
      I love them. And you:)
      -Jennifer

  3. Robin aka on February 24, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Your words always touch me so deeply…thank you always for sharing them the way only you can…

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:08 am

      I love your comment, Robin…..thank you.
      We all get to share in the way that only we can
      and it’s what makes us all rich together, isn’t it.
      Thanks for togethering with me:)
      -Jennifer

  4. Donna on February 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    My goodness these words are balm….thank you….

    ‘Wherever you’re braving to be all in,
    know this:
    the pain will not swallow you.
    It just won’t.
    Learn to un-fear it.
    You’re more alive than you know.’

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:07 am

      Glad we get to share the balm we find
      in the hard tumble of living:)
      It’s peace to share it safe….thank you.
      -Jennifer

  5. Rebecca on February 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Your courage gives me courage. Your hope gives me hope. Your beautiful writing sends ripples of love into the world. Sending you thanks and lovingkindness.

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Your words give me a deep breath of welcome encouragement;
      so much thanks for the lovingkindness.
      I feel it to the bottom of my being.
      -Jennifer

  6. Barbara on February 24, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    You are so brave and strong, and you make it contagious by your sharing. Thank you! Sending big hugs, dear friend. xoxoxo

    • jennifer on February 27, 2016 at 6:05 am

      I think we’re all brave and strong
      together.
      Thanks for the hugs and the coming-along-with-ness:)
      You’re a treasure,
      Jennifer

  7. leslie on February 27, 2016 at 8:54 am

    “The ones who are uninhibited by the unknown
    because they’ve jumped into that gaping hole
    and found themselves, by grace, unswallowable,”

    Yes. We’ve all got black holes. Here’s to the grace that makes us unswallowable. Here’s to you, and me, and all the others who live to speak of it. Love to you, and always always thanks, for the way your heart encourages mine.

    • jennifer on February 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Cheers to the grace that makes us unswallowable:) (clink)
      To speak of it and then thrive in and because of it:)
      Big thanks for the beautiful share,
      Jennifer

  8. Susan on February 27, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    There you go, once again, finding those spaces that need healing in us all and encouraging bravery and teaching by example. I’m so deeply in love with your heart, soul & kindness … much beauty here in these words.

    • jennifer on February 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      So grateful for your tender words; thanks for being so generous with them, friend:)
      I appreciate you,
      Jennifer

  9. Mart on February 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Showing this to a friend today. She needs it.

    • jennifer on February 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Glad it is here for her. Prayers it gives her peace.
      Big love to you and your beautiful world, Mary.
      Thanks for dropping by,
      Jennifer

  10. Cathy on February 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Time passes and we all heal but never forget what got us to this place and time. Big hugs and love to you always my sweet cousin. Thanks always for sharing your words and feeling with us.

    • jennifer on March 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks for coming by, Cathy:) I know you’ve ridden many waves of loss in the past years.
      I’m so glad you’re able to talk about it and share. I love you, cousin. So much:)
      -jennifer

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