She cannot begin to know grief,ย difficult
as it is to penetrate veil upon veil,
self deceptions and descriptions, the torment
of pleasing in order that one
might feel loved;

She is sure she knows at such a tender age,
and life has but toyed with her up
to this point, lovers and love, planes
and trains and automobiles speeding her
away from any unpleasant experiences; has
yet to encounter a wall she cannot vault
over, the one that demands we climb it brick
by brick until, exhausted beyond weariness,
we glimpse the other side;

By that time, we are no longer concerned
with vistas, even as the most extraordinary
perspective unfolds before the eyes.


29 thoughts on “Regroup

  1. What a beautiful representation of the naivete of Youth contrasted with the jadedness of growing Old. To me, this was a cautionary Tale of losing exuberance and wonder for life as I age, and has served as a wake-up call, helping me to see that I have been been unwittingly falling into that mindset. Thank you for ringing a clarion alarm clock in my literary ear!

    (BTW, that’s a nice image for your new profile picture!)

    1. Aloha James – thanks for your thoughtful interpretation of this poem. So often these things write themselves and I only reflect upon them later. This particular poem was precipitated when I met a young woman who is all the things society loves; confident, good looking, seemingly in control of her life and her career track. I often wish I had been one of those women when young, but in fact very few (if any) are this way inside. It’s all surface; a ‘fake it til you make it’ approach, which often works, by the way! Nothing wrong with it – just didn’t have it in me when young. That isn’t to say I didn’t ‘fake it’ in so many ways – I lived a lie in so many ways and didn’t even realize it until much later. Then that has taken a virtual lifetime to deconstruct – I’m still in the process of getting down to the nitty-gritty of absolute authenticity, so to speak. So many questions, so little time – which brings me to that last stanza regarding vistas. I no longer project onto the ‘big screen,’ rather take life moment by moment. It doesn’t mean I lack dreams – I’m a visionary, after all. But I don’t project or expect like I used to. And what unfolds before me is always a delight, always miraculous. When I am as One with the flow. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So in that way, not jaded at all, though I can see how you interpret it thus. Which is the fabulous thing about poetry! So glad you derived personal meaning from it! (And thanks for the compliment vis a vis the gravatar ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) โค

      1. Aren’t well-written words amazing, how the same words can speak differently to different readers and be just what they needed to hear? Such is the mark of great literature… and yes I just grouped you with the greats!

        Thanks for writing from the heart!

      2. You are too kind, James! And yes, words are very open to interpretation, especially when used in verse – it seems somehow more obscure than analytical scientific writing, for example, though I have misconstrued That from time to time as well! Here’s to you having a blessed wind-down to your week! โค

  2. Numbing our own feelings by trying to please and get the love of others, is a truth for many of us when we were young. Talk about emotional baggage as adults though! I learned how to stuff emotions into rucksacks, under carpets and a thousand and one distracting activities in the hope that I felt good. But how can we really feel good, when we donโ€™t allow ourselves to fully feel?
    When we are ready we can step into the world of feeling. Then we experience every little thing in a whole new way.
    What a journey. What a ride of highs and lows, realizations and sadness… and the wholeness, wonder and love. ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Aloha Val – how well I knew those rucksacks ๐Ÿ˜‰ Whatever it took to move away, instead of into those uncomfortable places was what I, myself participated in as well. Didn’t know it, of course – but now it’s so easy to see. And I have tremendous compassion for that lost, lonely young woman. As I said to Marie just now, I tried to make things different for my own daughters, and seeing that desPite this, they still had and have their own struggles was the most painful thing, ever. Yet I realize this is simply how we progress in (consciousness? awareness?) on this planetary journey. On many counts it seems painfully fruitless, but I know how far I have come, and know it (and more) is possible for others. Which keeps me going, moment to bless-ed moment. Thanks for your reflections, Val! โค

      1. When we are young, we really donโ€™t listen to our elders. Even the ones that arenโ€™t like our parents. I think it is a rite of passage…. painful but one that must be felt, recognized and acknowledged, no matter our age. May the insights continue my friend. ๐Ÿ’›
        With the unraveling of the past, we embrace more and more where we are on our planetary journey.

      2. Val, I agree that what appears to be stubborn refusal to learn from elders must be a rite of passage, what else? We all seem to do it, it’s true enough. And in the process of bumping and bouncing our way along, perhaps we move forward with an unexamined bit of something that helps others down similar roads. Thanks for your thoughtful comments on this post. โค

  3. I LOVED this Bela! I loved everything you said, both in your poem and your comment to James Clark – I simply cannot add another thing to it, because you have said it all! Amazing! It almost felt like a mirror-image to something I wrote recently, where I tried to say that trying to make sense of things in childhood/youth is virtually impossible because your feelings are not honoured and are not allowed to be shown. And in order to feel loved and survive, you pretty much have to pretend that what is happening is not really happening, so you find creative ways to deal with it all. And one of the ways is simply not to ‘feel’.

    Your picture is simply breath-taking: how liberating to be able to ‘feel’ that!

    1. Marie, I am SO glad you enjoyed this offering. And it’s funny – I had been gone all day after posting this yesterday into the evening. Then I read you saying I had commented to James, which I thought I must have done in some alternate reality(!) I did so just this morning, however ๐Ÿ˜‰
      I agree that we are incapable of making sense of childhood events, though we may and do try at times. This song leaps to mind:
      So yes, we do our best to fit in, to pretend, to cope. Feelings ARE not honored, and yet we feel – and perhaps are ashamed, ostracised by our own hand. It strikes me as so sad. And though I tried to make things different for my girls growing up, I know they had and have their own private struggles. The best I can do is to be there for them and to assure them that they are loved beyond reason.
      I am glad you liked my image as well – taken as my friend Linda and I were leaving Orcas Island in the San Juans (WA state) one evening on the ferry. A couple was also getting married, and I got a lovely shot of the bride in that amazing sunset light.
      Love and blessings to you, Marie โค

      1. Dear Bela, I was obviously having a ‘senior moment’ this morning when I mentioned your comment to James. No wonder I confused you. I was reading Val’s comment and for some reason, I thought it was you responding to James! Anywaaaay – now I’ve actually read your comment to James, I still love it!:)
        I, like you tried to make things different for my daughter because of my own unhappy experiences as a child, but you are so right when you talk about your daughter’s own private struggles. We all have struggles, but fortunately for your daughters and mine, our parenting is on a different level and very much takes into account how we felt, and how we would like our own children to feel – assured and loved beyond reason.
        I haven’t listened to that song yet, but will do so shortly. As always, it’s been lovely chatting Bela.โคโค

  4. Bela, I related to this, as I seem to do with all your poetry! (And the comments too.) It seems most of us women go through a similar evolvement, though maybe it’s been a longer road for our generation. We started out in a different (more restricted) place. Great writing once again! ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’•

    1. Yes, Betty – I can so relate to your writing as well. It’s a comfort to know one isn’t alone with the deeper feelings. I think each generation has its own issues, which become (more) obvious as we age. A long road, indeed, though I am grateful I learned along the way and am still learning. Many do not or give up or continue paying lip service rather than walking the walk. And on we go, eh?

      Thanks so much for the praise, dear one. Aloha โฃ๏ธ

      1. Same here – I can’t figure out where the last 20 years went, actually. And this last year has been surreal. (Please tell me it’s just been a bad dream that we have an idiot in the WH…. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ But I’m digressing.)

      2. No, you’re frustrated like the rest of us who are in possession of our faculties. What a nightmare. And more to come, no doubt. We try to minimize the inflow of ‘information’ and simply live our lives. It’s a full time job. As you know ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  5. While reading this Bela.. I was transported back to my own youth, So took me back.. ‘speeding her
    away from any unpleasant experiences ‘
    So many things you write holds up a mirror..
    But all lead us to this point…
    Who we have become through those experiences..

    And I am happy how I turned out.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Those deep feelings we buried, peeling them away.. Learning all the time as we
    Grow, expand and ‘regroup’……

    Many thanks for sharing Bela xxx โค ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. Thanks for reading, Sue – as always. Yes, I suspect we didn’t invent the wheel – growing up is just that. Though it is funny that I wrote this after observing a young woman who was Not me and very different From me – then I realized the poem was more thematic and that in our own heads we all seem to have it far more together than we do at that age. I guess if we did not, we’d never step outside the front door (!)
      Love to you, dear Sue – enjoy the rest of your week and frost on your pumpkins! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

      1. Indeed Bela… and haha.. and wouldn’t you know it.. the weather is about to turn a little warmer.. ๐Ÿ™‚ All good with the Pumpkins though.. LOL.. xxx Take care and enjoy your week too Bela xx

    1. Mahesh, you have a point, as usual – always insightful. That wisdom we so want the easy road to (?) when young – oh, 40 is OLD, and by then, surely we will Know. But then 40 comes all too quickly and learning curves change course – just as we were getting the hang of operating out in the world, the inner journey cranks up a notch or six and we are once again set back on our heels wondering.
      Ideally so, I think, because many bury themselves in busy-ness or addictions, either masking issues or obviating them through a health crisis, for example. But if we pay attention … we begin to dip into denied feelings and open our hearts a bit more. Relationships either deepen or fall away – if the 60’s begin our Winter, the Forties begin the Autumn of our lives. So interesting, all of it. Blessed to have your own perspectives here any time you wish to share them! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ

      1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessed to have your presence in blogosphere. I so mean it. And I admire your humility. If you build on what you’ve written here and publish it, it could be another thought-provoking post. I don’t know what it is with humans that they’re always rushing – I ask myself this. xoxo

  6. Grief is indeed difficult to penetrate Bela, yet your poem is piercing through it, illuminating each alley we try to conquer with a naรฏve pride! The depth of your reflections are hitting hard, revealing the truth that pain is not individualistic, it pervades all around, encompassing all in one form or another. You are so right, however hard we may try to keep our children away from pain, they do encounter it and the repercussions reach us. How well is your picture conveying this fact! Thanks for sharing this magnificent image.

    1. Aloha Balroop, and indeed you have grasped the meaning of this piece, such as it is. I think grief deepens too, as life grinds us against our feelings until they sharpen enough that we feel first ourselves/our own deeper feelings, then perhaps those of others close to us, then a broader base of people – all children, say. All parents. Compassion develops and grows through these encounters with our own suffering, or that’s my hope for a more inclusive world, anyhow.
      Thanks for your appreciation of this poem and photo. โค

  7. Good morning my dear Bela, Happy Libra Moon! I’m wondering if this is my renshi turn with the poem share above?

    On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 8:11 AM, belas bright ideas wrote:

    > Bela Johnson posted: “She cannot begin to know grief, difficult as it is > to penetrate veil upon veil, self deceptions and descriptions, the torment > of pleasing in order that one might feel loved; She is sure she knows at > such a tender age, and life has but toyed with h” >

    1. Aloha dear one, and happy Libra moon to you as well! By the way, weaver gives her best regards ๐Ÿ˜‰ You already wrote your latest follow. I write for this WordPress blog, and some of it is poetry I’ve written with our group, but some of it is not. So you good! ;D I think it’s Ma’ata’s turn just now. Enjoy the week! โค

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