One of our group participants once asked, “Is grief a mental illness?” How might you answer that question? In your experience of loss, abandonment, loneliness, illness, death. ‘Your experience of the countless ways in which you may suffer unseen, un-named grief. In grief, it can feel like our minds (and hearts) have fallen ill. We are heartsick.
Layli Long Soldier‘s expression of this complex layer of human experience resonates. Beginning with the top line, “As we…,” choose a language path and follow it through to the end of the poet’s exploration…
BY LAYLI LONG SOLDIER
(New Poets of Native Nations. Copyright © 2018 by Layli Long Soldier, as found at www.poetryfoundation.org) As we
the future the present the past
we work we struggle we begin we fail
to understand to find to unbraid to accept to question
the grief the grief the grief the grief
we shift we wield we bury
into light as ash
across our faces
What emerges in you as you spend time with this?
In the isolation of grief (you may know what it is to feel utterly, absolutely alone in your darkest hours?), may you find quiet heart. Quiet mind.
As you offer care to the ones you love in their stark and desolate moments, may you find quiet heart. Quiet mind.