February Intern Interludes

SarahLucille Clifton’s poem “Running Into a New Year” begins with the phrase “I am running into a new year/and the old year’s blow back,” reminding me that the places where I find beginnings are also the places where I experience loss, letting go, and a tension with what has been. In December we looked at waiting and in January we looked at brokenness. In February, we journey into forgiveness. All of these seem to be part of the process of transitions in life. Endings can be sudden or drawn out, can be clear or fuzzy. Sometimes endings leave us with something that feels or looks broken; perhaps we can reframe these broken pieces as a transition place, where we will redefine and relocate pieces of our lives and ourselves. Clifton says at the end of her poem: “it will be hard to let go” but as she slips into the new year and place of beginnings, she decides to “beg what i love and/ i leave to forgive me.” Closure doesn’t always feel smooth, and change is often accompanied by doubt. What is your habit in dealing with endings? Can you see a pattern? In what ways do you find yourself resisting an ending and how do you cope? How do you get to completion and acceptance? While spiritual practices such as journaling or walking or meditation can help us process the feelings, developing rituals to mark the process of transitions can also help. What/who do you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness from? What are you letting go of? A ritual could be writing these on a piece of paper (wish paper perhaps!) and burning the paper; or lighting a candle for these and acknowledging them as you blow the candle out . Creating a piece of artwork that acknowledges what you want to say goodbye to and then transforming it in some way would also ritualize this place of ending (cut it up, paint over it, take it apart and re-assemble differently.) Ritual can be solo or can invite community and a circle of wisdom and support. Moving into the New Year, I send you a prayer for resilience and insight. May you find strategies for change that allow you time to rest and wait, strength to accept and cope with brokenness, and enough love to find forgiveness.