The Stump
There is some part of all of us that just has a hard time entering into the world.
We might be 70 years old in "some parts of us" with a lot of wisdom and
understanding...but there is also a part of us that just has a hard time making it into the
world--it stays 6 or 7 years old.

I like the idea that we are made up of many parts.
I like dreams.  When I work with interpretaion of dreams, the various images of a
dream are really parts of myself.
There have been times I have been dreaming that I was in a house.
And most of the time, the house is "me."
There is a living room part of me (which welcomes guests and socializes}, a dining room
part, a kitchen part, a bedroom part, maybe an upstairs, and most always, a basement
part.
Oh yes, there is the bathroom and den and porch and other various rooms.
Some rooms can be rooms where our depressions live, other rooms where our joys live,
other rooms for fear, anger, love, care and etc.
All these rooms make up who we are as a whole person. Some rooms are clean while
others are a mess..
Some rooms are empty and others are full of junk. I think you get the picture.

So I see that I am made up of all these various parts that make up who I am. And
especially today, I am talking about the part that just has a hard time making it in the
world. Here is a poem that has meant something to me that touches on this theme.














The Stump

The stump in the forest we almost walked past
is easily overlooked.
But it is vivid when near,
and resembles an elephant's leg with the body shot off.
The short walls still left, their bark loosened here and there by rain,
show a wood slick and silvery,
which feels rough to the fingers, uneven as weeks of hospital introspection.

It's clear that the big saw did not sever all;
and spires stand on its low tower resembling broken vows.
Ivy has crept in and fallen green needles make the low tower seem awake.

Above the stump other trees go on growing,
expanding into the air.
Vines climb trunks toward the light.
But there is something in life that doesn't know how to climb;
it is sure everything around it that could help it to go upward is dead or unreliable.
Whom do I know that resembles this unesteemed wood?
Alone in the forest?

                                                                                   Robert Bly


I dont know why this is..
but usually there is one part of us that just does not make it well into life.
And maybe it will always be that way.
Maybe this is to keep us humble,
or to expand grace into our lives for the weaknesses of others.
Can you imagine how impossible it would be to get along with someone
who had it all together? whow...
Of course, we can be bitter and blame the world for this stump part
that we feel every day.
Or, we can find a way of compassion to that part
and bring love to that area and "be"with it.
Not necessarily to fix it, but to honor it for what it brings to our lives.

You know, I once saw a beautiful picture of a stump in the forest,
moss growing on it,
and out of the center of the stump was growing a new shoot.
I think that is how it is...
where we find life so difficult---
something new gets born.

                                                               ltm