Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, July 14, 2017


“There’s a trick to the 'graceful exit.' It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”
                                                                                                                   ― Ellen Goodman

My life has been full of  endings
The end of gestation,
Which is really a beginning, sending me squalling early born and small
into the world

“not even good fish bait”, according to an Irish rancher

the end of infancy, as I learned to run on skinny legs
and raced into kindergarten

now on my way
beginnings followed by endings
which were beginnings
and on and on life went

endings after endings
which were beginnings after beginnings

the end of grade school
the beginning of junior high
which came to ignominious end and became the beginning of high school

on and on
college, seminary, first church, second church, third church
no church
disgrace and the death of a journey

but in that death a new beginning
working international disaster relief
teaching at a medical school, international projects in places like Azerbaijan
being the executive director of a mental health program

and now another ending
an ending that began 2 years ago,
and still limps along

an end that began when my board basically said
you are not enough
and “suggested” it was time to step down

and continued for two years as I took on new roles
and tried to stay out of the way of the new  (which by the way is amazing)

Now another step away from what was
Tomorrow a picnic, a “retirement”

A stepping away from the program I worked to build
And into which I put so much of myself, for almost 14 years.
A program where I was at the “center” for so many years
And now am hanging around on the fringe

It feels good to know the program is amazing, and I played a small role in that
It feels a bit sad to know I didn’t quite measure up, ultimately

It is a bit difficult, knowing that my successor, who is amazing
Now “owns” much of what I started
And the final stages of what I began will be her success
Not mine (at least in the eyes of many)

And it feels weird
To now be so “outside” the circle
Of activity, planning, friendship
And to know I will soon be an “after thought”

Yes a new adventure awaits
An new program is there to be birthed
But still
This is big

This ending is perhaps the most profound I have experienced
For over 20 years
And may be the biggest ending before the end

And yet it is time
For a graceful exit
A time to say goodbye
And let it
To let go of what was done
And not done
The failures
And the successes too

To let go of the need to be “important”
And noticed

And just
Walk gently
Into whatever is next

And hope
Perhaps hope against hope
That I will be remembered
And when remembered
That memory
Will bring

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