What Survival Does
This is what you have learned.
That the sea calls to you.
Empty spaces and dangerous voyages.
You dance most when horizons spread beyond your sight.
You are less afraid of storms than rationality calls for.
That is what survival does.
You come to understand that you are smaller and tougher
than you thought.
That fewer miss you when you are gone,
fewer care when you fail,
than you believe.
Shame is an inside job,
and learning to release it leaves you buoyant,
better able to fly,
a new person, more like the one you were born to be
than you know.
About this poem
It was three years ago this month that I discovered Cape Cod, and with it a new appreciation for the ocean, empty beaches and horizons.
Growing older has its advantages. You’ve survived more, which reminds you that you can survive more.
Most people suck at forgiving themselves their mistakes. We should take lessons from God, who forgives perfectly.
From that mess of thoughts, this poem.
PS – The picture was taken in Provincetown, during that first trip to the Cape.