Saturday, December 11, 2010

Time to say Goodbye

I wished for about the billionth time today that time would move a little slower. This term has gone by in a flash.
I wish there was some way to seal memories, first feelings of something in a bottle, and then open it up and re-experience it again. Like the moment of walking around the back of The Vines and seeing everyone for the first time, and feeling nervous about making friends, or of turning in my first case study on Robin Hood, or walking across a land bridge to an island off the coast of Scotland. Or drinking tea in the kitchen of the Kilns. Or hugging a friend for maybe the last time.
Goodbyes are hard, did you know? But I suppose we're just going to have to get used to it. As Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchitt says, "Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it."
I was inspired to put some poems that I've written this term on here by my friend Zach's blog. I posted the Oxford Sestina before on facebook, but I think it's fitting, so I'll put it here too:

It begins with the opening of books
fueled by much desperation and tea
And the attempt to awaken the stone
-like brain from granite slumber with food,
prod it with cookies and conversation.

Then within there begins conversation
between the crowded pages of books
and the busy mind; words become food
and thoughts begin to swirl, bathed in tea,
building, building, mortar upon stone
until they manifest in writing.

Then, the conclusion, and one begins writing
a new experience of conversation
steeling feeling like immoveable stone
to accept the criticism of books
and the unknowns, armed with soothing tea,
and that dear word ‘good’ that gives the soul food

to write again. Then gather round for food
with a new family, for the writing
of a new branch that is bonded by tea,
not blood, and brought close with conversation,
unity of age, and the love of books
until friendship is laid firmly in stone.

This city breathes years in yellow stone
the treading of feet upon feet is food
for poetry, prose. The scenes of books
unfold around corners, walking in writing,
from the page to life, a conversation
with art, with the past, with the tea

shops and cafes where the giants sipped tea
and now you do, touching all of the stone
they have touched, echoes of conversation
in the pubs where they sat, eating the food
you are now eating. What are you writing?
will it return to its birth like these books

will it become like they have, the food
for another hopeful pen writing,
alive in this place of knowledge and books?

And another, written as a meditation during devotions.

Mark 5
Talitha Koum
from the depths daughter
sleeping daughter, with
cheek as cold as frozen steel
and heart stiff in proportion

Talitha Koum
be warmed, have this breath
see, I have taken you by hand—
you have Heaven in your palm.
awake, and eat again with me

Talitha Koum
“Little girl, I say to you,
get up!” leave this way
of monotonous striving,
take this hand and get up

Talitha Koum
do not sink to the earth,
to the world again, you
have not finished yet.
you are not dead but asleep.

How to come back to the real world? How not to be an island? It's an end to a very golden era.
On Thursday night, we had a dance party for about 2 hours. It was such a hilariously fun "closing ceremony" type thing. Today we watched The Snowman, and gosh darn it, I felt such sympathy for the little kid. I feel like when I step onto that bus for the airport, in some ways it's going to be just like that little boy running out the door, only to find that his snowman friend has melted. But then he reaches into his pocket and finds the scarf he was given, a kind of relic, the proof that his night with the snowman really happened and that it was wonderful. I guess that's what the photos, the memories, and my new friends will be...the Oxford scarf in my pocket. :-)



  1. Oh Gosh...this is so good. Thanks for sharing your writing Abby. Captured the feeling of these days, you did.

    The lump-in-the-throat smile feels like a holy thing. It was all real friend :), -Zach

  2. That was a gem, Abbs. I know you will miss your snowman achingly, and I don't want to sooth that ache in any way, because as Zachary says above, it is a sort of holy thing. The ache of parting from dear friends and the stage of a precious community should be celebrated, not suppressed. The only thing to be done is to find people who can celebrate that community and that era with you, who can help you move into a new season, while still honouring the memory of the one passed.

    I am extremely excited to see you tomorrow! Also, we will spend much time in tea and conversation, fear not.