The Bending

One of my favorite authors is Khalil Gibran who wrote: “The Prophet” among other books of prose.  You would probably recognize some of his works as many excerpts of this book are read at weddings.  However, my favorite poem by him is “The Prophet Speaks of Children”:

“Your children are not your children. 
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. 
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. 
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; 
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

It is the last two lines that often echo in my head.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; 
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

I got Mimi around 2 weeks after my ex-husband refused to drop our son off to me for the court-ordered schedule.  As sad as this may seem to sound, it had just been me and the cat, Duchess, ambling through our lives living for the moments when my baby would return.  Now my baby wasn’t returning.  I never dealt with that and how extremely painful that sorrow was (is).  I rescued a breeder dog Shih-Tzu.  I rescued another forgotten mother thrown away when she was no longer considered useful.  I poured all that sorrow into love for her.

That season of my life was around 10 years ago.  She was with me, as was Duchess.  As relations improved with my ex-husband and I saw my son again, I still had them both.  I had a family of sorts to take care of again.  Through the years I had to learn to live in two worlds.  One world, I was a single woman on my own, career, education, and a group of single friends to hang around.  I’ve dated…A LOT.   I’ve dated enough to know I don’t want to date anyone, at least right now.  The other world I was a mother trying to raise a good kind human being. I compartmentalized a lot.

When change comes about, it shakes things up.  It knocks you off your stance a little.  Sometimes people clear out.  Those aren’t your people.  It’s been a tough season for me lately, and people I thought would be forever-friends have cleared out.  I am at peace with that.

I am also at peace with the fact that my beloved little Mimi is gone, too.  I think she brought me to where I am supposed to be because I can do this by myself now.

I looked around my apartment yesterday in the silence of the waning afternoon sun and thought of the day I brought her home.  I had a little run-down musty apartment that we almost froze to death in that first winter.  I had a hodge-podge of furniture people had given me.  It looked like the home of someone who had never taken care of herself even though I was around 30.  When my son was gone, many nights I sat curled up weeping.

My apartment now is warm and comfortable and inviting and is filled with reflections of me and my personality and I love to come home now.  My son and I have fun-filled weekends of quality time where we talk and laugh.  She helped bring me so far.

He’s almost grown now.  She is gone now.  Our lives are changing now; again.  It’s time to come to peace with the fact I can’t change how things went.  It makes me sad, yes, but maybe he got more quality for the smaller quantity of time with me.

It’s ok to feel it.  It’s ok to feel.  It’s ok to bend.



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