Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "There she goes!"
Gone where? Gone from my sight ... that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There she goes! there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"*

I have been thinking about these words a lot lately. They speak to me of this unbelievably scary journey I am on. When I first joined this club of ours, I was lost, I was alone and I thought I would never find another who understood all of what I was going through. And then I found you. All of you. And together, we stood on the beach as we watched our own individual ships disappear from sight. I took and take to this day, great comfort in knowing that beside me were others who knew the pain of watching that ship diminish from view. Others who could remember the beauty it once held, the promise it offered, the hope it once danced with on the waves as it made it's journey, a journey that we were never allowed enjoy.

As time has passed we have all taken steps to start to turn our heads away from the horizon. To stop the incessant fixation with the ship that has disappeared from our view. To look to something other than the empty sea for comfort.

For me, I have been walking a path, parallel to the beach, keeping the horizon firmly in sight for the last 33 weeks. Only now it seems that I am on the pier. I can still see and feel and talk to everyone on the beach but I have one foot stepping out onto another ship. To some of my friends here it may seem that 33 weeks ago I put both feet on it and left the port, but I didn't. I held on to all of you and dropped anchor right next to you, firm in my belief that this was where I belonged. That this was where I was safe. Embarking on another journey, pushing off from shore seemed more than I could bear or dare to even dream about.

But now I feel the pull, the need to completely board, to lift my other foot off the pier and let myself go into the unknown vastness of this other journey. The tides are too strong for me to hold her back, to keep her tethered to the pier. She needs to go. It is her time to travel and I am wrong to deny her her destiny. But as I stand on her, I am drawn not to the bow where I can see where she is headed but to the stern where I can look back and draw comfort from those that I have known, who know me and know why I want to stay. At the same time I know most of us have watched as other ships have sailed and wished that we were going with them. We know it isn't an easy ride, the waves come and threaten to destroy us at any moment. And still we long to know what is on the other side. Who is waiting for us there.

I think of Julia and Ashliegh who I know are on the other side. I wonder will I see them. Will I make it to their destination. Can I survive this journey, can we survive this crossing.

I am on the ship now. Destination unknown. I feel the quiet movements inside me of another passenger who begs me to look forward, who pleads with me to believe this ship will survive the passage and will deliver us both into the waiting arms of another group of women who have gone before us.

I look back to the beach and implore with my whole being, please stay there so I know where to go if I fail and then I look out to the vast horizon, desperate to see the tiniest fleck of land, the smallest light that says we are here, keep going, and I feel myself disappearing from view and at the same time not yet visible to anyone waiting on the other side. I can hear you say "There she goes." but I can not yet hear the words I so long for, "Here she comes!"

**A Parable of Immortality, Henry Van Dyke


Aunt Becky said...


Cara said...

Absolutly stunning post.

To travel both horizons, the sea and the shore is a hefty task. As I just commented to Elm City Dad, it is like trying to speak French and English at the same time, impossible.

Yet, that is what is asked of us. To forever grieve our babes in heaven while being present and acountable for the ones we physically hold here.

Again - breathtaking imagery. I sit in tears.

CLC said...

We want you to get on that ship and not look back. Well, maybe, you can look back once in a while to give us hope. Every part of me is rooting for you so hard. I hope you make it to the other side. I want so desperately for you to. I need to know that it's possible. (Sorry- don't mean to put pressure on you.)

P.S. I think you will always be part of this club, no matter how much time passes or what events occur in life. And I mean that in a good way- that you have a sisterhood out here that truly understands you, no matter what phase of life you are in.

Sue said...

I think CLC said it well: it is a sisterhood. We will always be sisters, on the shore, on the ship, on other side so far away.

I can only imagine how difficult this is -- time should make it easier, but I suspect it makes it harder.

We are with you, K. Always, but you don't have to be here to *be* here. You know?

c. said...

Selfishly, I want you to board that boat and sail away into happily ever after yet be here, too. I know this is an impossibility. I know that when you board that boat that you get something so many of us are left wanting (for now). And, of course, those of us left ashore would board that boat in a heartbeat, would be more than satisfied to see the shore fade away in the distance if it meant that happily ever after was in reach.

So board that ship, K, make it to the other side and be happy, but, please, don't forget to write when/if an opportunity should present itself. I'll kick your @ss if you don't ;o)

Wishing you only good things, K. Absolutely. XO.

Sophie said...

A beautiful post K.


Ange said...

I love you...What an amazing post. Please don't leave us all just yet..I need you.x

Ange said...

That was selfish Ange..
My other personality is urging you on to that new adventure that awaits you. Knowing we will all be linked in such a deep way for having walked together through such an experience. You deserve so much joy and your bravery blows me away. Go forth sailor girl.x

janis said...

Oh this is such a gorgeous post, k@lakly, just stunning. I love that imagery and the analogy.
I agree with what CLC said.
You are free to go, so go, board, set sail. Some places you never truly leave, some people you never truly forget, no matter how far you go, no matter if you reach to the other side.
I'm rooting for you too. *hugs*

Reese said...

I feel that even if we get on a new boat, we will always know that we docked in this port, with these people and feelings for this amount of time. In the grand voyage, it will be but a memory.

There is nothing wrong with looking towards your future, the hope of a new journey that begins with hope and ends with happily ever after. We all want that for ourselves and our friends who have been caught in a storm. I do hope you get on, set your sails, and always know that we were better for having known you....