Life’s Left Turns

Navigating the unexpected left turns in life is no easy thing.  Taking a left turn is always tricky — assessing the oncoming traffic, making sure there’s space for you to cross lanes, moving swiftly but confidently in the face of not being quite sure what might pop up in front of you.

After Eric died, I read a good bit of Pema Chodron, and was very attracted to her messages about embracing groundlessness — letting go of our expectation that life always has to be happy and perfect and planned, and realizing that life is a process unfolding in unpredictable ways that bring both joy and pain, loss and gain, grief and acceptance.  Being truly present in each moment of my life, and understanding that that’s really all there is, was a lesson I learned through my grief process, and one I have to keep relearning.  Remembering that my attachment to the idea that I know exactly where I am and where I’m going is an illusion, and that the groundlessness of life is going to catch up with me over and over again is helpful.  Get back into this moment, because really, that’s all there is.

It’s warm enough to be on the porch writing this afternoon, and I’m grateful for the soft air and the shelter that lets me be outside as intermittent showers veil the fields surrounding me.  The maples that still have leaves are yellow, and the oaks are amber behind the gray rain.  This is a moment to savor as I spin the wheel to the left.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Grief, Life Changes, Moving On. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Life’s Left Turns

  1. bornbyariver says:

    I too have found Pema Chodron’s writings helpful after losing my mother. The present moment offers much comfort.

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