Chaotically Calm


"Think in blue, in green, in starlight, in song, in a blessing, in beauty, in gratitude."

- Alice Hoffman -

For Joye Shapiro

1952-2021

Hope did not prevail. The doctors had done all they could. When Joye died on April 13th, her husband had left the hospice care home twenty minutes earlier. We came to see her for what would most likely be the last time, only to be told by the nurse she had left this world just twenty minutes before. In his grief her husband Dan knows it was a message of love that she took her last breath when he wasn’t by her side. Such a small window of time, such a huge missing.

April disappeared in a fog of sadness, and we’ve now spent two weeks in our home that over seven months has bloomed from this desert soil—May has flown by infused with both loss and new life. In the chaotic motion between these two contrasting events I’ve been glued to the here and now. Whether sitting with Dan or moving a heavy piece of furniture, I could not step away from each present moment, only barely taking care of daily details.

A poem has reminded me how calm has been here throughout the chaos. Nature is its name, cooling my skin with an evening breeze or pulling my eyes upward to the crown of white flowers on the saguaros. I know requesting permission to use Rosemerry’s poem and photograph is asking for support, a part of walking on the road to calm. You will not see me coiffed and manicured and poised on this road. Instead I am windblown, with a finger in a splint, and chaotically calm. True to these moments and poems that sing, open to learn and grow from them.

Lesson from the Coyote Willows Only when it rains do coyote willows turn their brightest red, as they do today in the drizzle and gray, and oh, how I fall in love with them now, these slender stems that know how to regenerate from brokenness, bringing their brilliant vermillion to the dim of the day. Let us live this way. When it is dark, let us find what is brightest in us and share it with the soggy world, a thicket of grace in the midst of gloom, not fancy, but rampant and so deeply willing to share radiance, to dazzle, to blaze.

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Poem and Photograph by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer; here is her daily poem blog link: www.ahundredfallingveils.com

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