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I thought I’d never write about healing.
I thought people just—healed,
that it was a private thing
universally recognized,
that people would be brave and focused
on the closing of the wound,
shrouded in inertia, not
even in lessons learned; I thought
the lessons systematically came later,
that, meantime, they lay in wait
until there was only a scar
where torn flesh used to be.
I thought absolution was a cocoon,
a kind of break
from this giant blender of humanity.

But children have to be fed,
love has to be loved,
and a cross has to be carried
over the hill,
rain or shine.
Chances are, everyone in the street
is in some state of brokenness.
The dawn makes no excuses.
Everyone has an agenda,
and people’s agendas overlap,
and some of them will cut
across your sacred garden irreverently.
Some questions will not be asked politely.

Healing, then, is a negotiation,
a walk in the wild among moments,
both those bittersweet past
and these sullen present,
a tripping and falling
where old hurts are fair game
to draw blood from again
by a chance meeting
or the mere mention of a name,
or to build on top of
with more hurts
dealt by the different hands
of the same faces
of your own vulnerability,
of the lessons that waited too long.

Forgiveness is an ascent
to places that
only the catalysis of
pain and strength
makes possible.
You live,
you live,
most painfully so.
Sometimes wisdom is a knife
that purges as it enters.
Hold on to the kind words;
they get rarer over time.
And remember: you are still an actor
in someone else’s story, even
as you wait for the storm to pass.
Speak your lines, even
if every fiber of you is weeping.
Don’t forget to make movement.
The direction is forward,

“The Flavour of Summer”
by photographer Beat Eisele


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