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I Have Walked Through Many Lives...

I saw this and found it very thought provoking and inspiring. I felt called to share it.

Stanley Kunitz was 95 years old when he wrote this beautiful poem, “The Layers.” I find some of the most moving lines are these: “How shall the heart be reconciled / to its feast of losses?” and "I am not done with my changes." Most of us who have lived into our seventies, or beyond, know that "feast of losses" and we must not only acknowledge it and recon with it but we must learn to celebrate and embrace it. Only in that way can we move from fear to peace.

The Layers

I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.


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