Giáo trình

The Healing Tree


Chapter 22

Tác giả: unknown

I’d spent the morning in my wheelchair in the sunroom reading the poems in Maggie’s pink journal, sipping coffee that grew colder page by page. With every line that had been crossed out, rewritten, and crossed out again, I felt her frustration. With every squiggled smiley mermaid signifying that a poem had finally passed the test, I heard her jubilant giggle and smiled along with her.

In these pages I saw the hope and the courage that Maggie had shared with so many others whose own hope and courage had deserted them. And I saw the fears she’d kept to herself in poems of hopeless desperation, poems that were written in the depths of endless nights, words written from the eye of the nightmare storm that passes for slumber in the dark hours of one who is facing death. Unlike poems of hope and courage that were drafted, revised, and painstakingly rewritten for others, those she wrote for herself met the page on first draft, as if she wanted to get them out of her head and onto the paper, then turn the page as quickly as possible. No squiggled mermaids celebrated their completion. Turning another page, I saw the last poem that Maggie wrote in her incarnation as an earth-bound mermaid, a poem that would never be read by anyone but me.

And So It Ends…

with neither a bang nor a whimper –

closing the gate, setting the sun,

a sigh, a backward glance, the river bends

disappearing into the mysteries ahead.

I go willing into this dark night, and

would not trade an eternity of living

for having earned the right to be thus dead.

It broke my heart to think of sweet Maggie, who never hurt a mosquito or a mayfly, facing those desperate last hours beyond our reach. Maggie Maggie all alone. On the right hand side, opposite Maggie’s last poem, a weak hand had scrawled two barely legible words. There’s more. That was all. There’s more. But there was no more. The remaining pages were blank.

“I left the empty pages there for you, Carrie Anne.” At some level of consciousness, I knew I was dreaming, that Maggie could not be sitting there in the sunroom with me, asking me to pick up the torch she could no longer carry. But at a deeper level – the level where apparent reality stretches out a tentative finger and touches the real thing – I also knew she was sitting right there beside me, and that this would be the last time we’d be together for a long time.

Not wanting to break the spell, I let go of my legs and floated up to the far corner of the window, where the late afternoon sun was warmest. Maggie was perched on the window sill, swinging her legs. She was wearing a t-shirt with the words, If you can read this, you’re close enough for a hug. The broken lady sat motionless in her wheelchair. There was something different about this otherworld Maggie. The nervous energy that had caused her to vibrate like an out-of-balance gyroscope had been replaced by an ethereal calm that suffused the space around her, like the air around The Healing Tree.

Maggie was giving the broken lady a poetry lesson. “Writing a poem is a matter of opening your heart and inviting someone else to come in for a visit. Just put yourself in their shoes, then write a poem for the you that’s in those shoes.”

The broken lady stared out the window, seemed to be looking for something she knew she would not find out there. “I’m afraid my heart’s not a place anyone else would want to visit. Not anymore.”

Maggie leaned forward, resting her forearms across her knees. “Yes. And that is precisely why you must invite them in. For both of you. See, you don’t write the whole poem. You only write half of it. The reader writes the other half. You give the gift, and the gift comes back to you.”

The broken lady opened the pink journal to a place past the middle and looked into the blank pages. “You gave so much, Maggie, to me and everyone else. But I really don’t have anything to give.”

“You don’t understand, Carrie Anne. Not yet. But you will. Poetry is like healing. Healing is not something you give. It’s something you share. You write a poem to invite someone else to share in your pain, and thus in your healing. Then you share in theirs. The poem isn’t whole until you give it away. It’s a paradox, isn’t it, that you can only freely give that which you don’t possess.” I could see that the broken lady was crying, and it struck me as being another paradox that healing so often begins with tears.

“They’re all one, you know,” Maggie said softly. She turned her head and looked up at me, hiding in my corner on the ceiling, then back at the broken lady in her wheelchair. “Sharing means both giving and receiving, both at the same time. Hurting and healing are one, just different points on the journey. Like looking at snowflakes in a silver bowl, you can never tell where the hurting ends and the healing begins.”

The broken lady was alone now. Like the transition from hurting to healing, I couldn’t really tell the exact moment when the broken lady and I again became one. I was simply back in my wheelchair, with Maggie’s pink journal in my lap. It was my hand moving the pen, but I knew that I was only the medium through which Maggie was writing her death poem.

And when I die

I want to die

like a firefly

on the windshield…

An exploding efflorescence of Soul


All over again

If I had it to do all over again

And did it all over again

I’d still be here again

Wishing once again

I had it to do all over again

All over once again


Đánh giá:
0 dựa trên 0 đánh giá
Nội dung cùng tác giả
Nội dung tương tự