For the Interim Time: John O’Donohue

I chose this poem because it seemed appropriate for that waiting space before something starts, and lockdown can also feel like life is on hold. It also seemed apt in hindsight as November 4th was the day when the results started to come out of the US Election, and there will be some waiting there. I read this at the beginning of the LEaD Directorate meeting to act as a pause at the beginning to help us connect and refocus. We’re going to try to do something like this at the beginning of every LEaD Directorate meeting now. Anyway, on to the poem…

For the Interim Time

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems TO believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

From To Bless the Space Between Us (2008).

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