Things that Stop
and Go No Farther
Have you ever been in some of those blizzards that come out of Canada?
I lived in Fargo, ND for several years of my life.
One year we had 3 blizzards by Thanksgiving, and that particular year,
we had 50 below zero temperatures for
and it never got above zero degrees for
one month.
That was quite a time. And going out and starting the car,
even with a heater connected to the engine, was a big pain in the mornings.

One thing I remember about those storms
was how the snow drifts would pile up around our home...
they would come so far and stop...
Sometimes we could walk right next to our house
and a huge snow drift would go up to the roof
and we would be between it and the house.

Today, I am reminded of those things that come close to my life
but then stop.
I am thinking of the places in my life where I don't go on
and take the risks anymore...
like snow drifts that stop suddenly six feet from my house.

For whatever reasons, I just chose to stop living.
And that part in me that wants to play (to come into life again)
just turns around and goes back down into the unconsciousness.
I just choose not to climb the hill and try again.
Maybe it is because I am afraid of getting hurt.
Maybe I am afraid of loving again...
Maybe it is just too hard. I don't know....

Sometimes something in me just dies.
The man in the black coat
(those things I just dont want to let live in my life anymore),
as is seen in our poem today, turns away and does not try anymore.
Something tragically dies...
It may take years to find that part again if we are lucky.
We may never see it again.

I find this happening in a lot of wonderful, good people
as the years take toll on their lives.
Sometimes, therapy entails finding a way to befriend these lost parts of our lives.
It is a grief...

In our poem today,
the man in the black coat is some repressed part of us
that tries to come to life again,
that comes into our awareness but because we don't want him in our lives,
he turns away and goes back down to that dark, hidden place in us.
This man in the black coat could be our creativity,
or our desire to learn, or our sexual energy,
or unwillingness to be around the sorrow of our lives,
or giving up on loving someone anymore...
it is just too hard and painful. We just don't go there anymore...

Snowbanks North of the House

"Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six feet from the house.....
Thoughts that go so far.

The boy gets out of high school and reads no more books;
the son stops calling home.
The mother puts down her rolling pin and makes no more bread.
And the wife looks at her husband one night at a party and loves him no more.
The energy leaves the wine, and the minister falls leaving the church.

It will not come closer----
the one inside us moves back, and our hands touch nothing, and choose to be safe.

The father grieves for his son, and will not leave the room where the coffin stands.
He turns away from his wife, and she sleeps alone.

And the sea lifts and falls all night,
the moon goes on through the unattached heavens alone.

                                     The toe of the shoe pivots
                                    in the dust.....

                                            And the man in the black coat turns,
                                              and goes back down the hill.
                                               No one knows why he came,
                                             or why he turned away,
                                              and did not climb the hill."

                                                                                       Robert Bly

I keep choosing to climb the hill....somethings make it out into the light while other parts
of me still struggle to live. I walk slowly and carefully loving this precious "life" that has
been given to me. I face my pain as gently as I am able---to love again.