Reflection has been thrust upon us with COVID-19, more so for some than others.
Reflection is a gift. It can swirl the muddy puddles collecting in our bodies and minds. The sticks and mud that otherwise goes undisturbed, distracted by the hustle of daily life, now float to the surface.
Below is a poem that I wrote reflecting on my journey over the past couple of years. Reassessing the things I longed for, the way I saw myself, and how I misjudged my own strength.
I’ve held my hands out, empty to the world
Asking for them to be filled.
Filled of riches, but riches in droplets
From perspiring ripened fruit.
I’ve walked around this world asking to be held
For the knight to come on his horse
For the gentle words to stick and mend
And not need to be repeated
For the embrace to be lived in.
I’ve walked around holding out my palms
Thinking that they’re empty
In search of a solid filling from
Like the innards to baked pastries
I wanted the sweetness
The caramelised sweetness
That has simmered in its own taste for times
Longer than my upturned hands know
For sweetness to be handed over.
I’ve walked this earth as if
I am hollow, flaky pastry
Dropping parts of myself and not caring enough for the vessel that I am
To pick myself back up.
To place my hands on my crumbling edges.
My walls decayed as I trod
Hands out and facing skyward
Waiting to be filled with love
As sticky as maple syrup
Strength as sweet as boiled peaches
To be handed my worth with the complimentary tang of lemon.
I’ve been searching to fill myself up with
Ripened fruits, marmalades, and preserves
All that has been processed
Processed, poured over, boiled, simmered
Sweetened and ripened.
My hands outstretched, stretching for the work
To be done for me
Handed to me
A kit in a box, on the shelf
In my infancy, I’ve wished for my completion
Without wanting to dirty myself
With collecting, planting
Harvesting and pruning.
I held my hands out thinking
that they were empty
I’ve been asking to be shot forward without seeing that I was asking for my end.
To be shot forward to completion
To being filled, worked out, perfectly prepared
Now I take my hands and I ask them for forgiveness
For holding everything but myself.
For harvesting all that was not mine.