Poem: Believing Again

Believing Again

The storm has passed on. There is still fog.
But it lifts. Finally, after a season of storms,
and you begin to see.

Not just the wreckage. There is always wreckage.
The broken things left behind.
Nothing new to you, the survivor of storms aplenty.

Nothing new. You have spent years clambering
over the debris of tempests and windless times,
enough to know broken is a temporary thing.

You sit on your porch. Savoring the sunshine
as it slowly cuts the fog, and leaves you with vision,
something you lose in the dark gales, the dark seasons.


You are handicapped already. One eyed
with a mind that lies to you, you live like Solomon,
your sword at hand, deciding when, and where

to apply its blade. What to cut away, and what to save.
For life is a child again after this long season of whirlwinds
and gales,

a child with grey hair and eyes sad and silly,
beginning to believe again that there is time,
just enough of it,

to create a new kingdom,
plant new fields,
and live to see the harvest.

About this poem.

So yesterday on the way to the kidney doc, I began to feel a future.

I know, a silly kind of phrase, but one of the things they don’t tell you when you have a years long bout of debilitating health, is that you begin to wonder if you will ever become yourself again. If the diminished version of yourself is what you are going to be stuck with, and whether or not you plan and work towards futures.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a bog believer in living day to day. Moment to moment. Savoring it all. Taking it in and listening to it all.. But at the same time, I have a history of building things. Companies, communities, faith families. My life has mostly run in seven or eight year cycles, building things before they became self sustaining, no longer in need of a builder, but a manager. Before all this cancer and stuff of the past few years, I was about to launch out in the next project.

I’ve worked towards it, but the process have been a one step forward, two steps back kind of journey. Frustrating and discouraging. I have used my antidepression tools to the max, aided by the magical woman who has become my wife in the past few years.

I’ve had two weeks without pain, with a daily increase of energy. It’s been marvelous. And yesterday, on the way to the doc, something clicked. I began planning ahead. Not just doing. Not just plowing though Planning, with a belief that maybe I do indeed have another seven or eight year cycle in me. That I could indeed, make a sustainable difference one more time. It was a palpable difference.

I got bad news at the kidney doc. More stones to pass. More pain ahead. I should have fallen backwards in my mood. Back to the day to day survival place. But for some reason I did not. I’ll deal with the pain, but I am going to trust my gut on this one.

There was a time I always trusted my gut. And it served me well. Even when it did not make logical sense, if my intuition was pesky and persistent, I ended up trusting it. It nearly always worked out.

But in the time when my life came undone, fifteen years ago or so, I lost my faith in my instincts. Things I though were true, were not. Some of those were inside me. Some were from outside. I was told again and again that you can’t trust your heart. Your gut. Your instinct. I moved to a more logical method of living. I lost my trust in myself, or at least that one, very vital, part of myself.

But I have learned better. Moving to Vermont was a decision of the heart. And it was a good decision. There were reasons it was a good decision, good logical reasons, but those are not what moved me here. Falling in love with the woman who is now my wife likely was not a great logical decision. I was just months out from a relationship. She was just entering a separation. None of that is a good recipe for something lasting and strong. And yet here was are, with a grown up love that has been sustaining and life changing. And this feeling that just maybe, despite age and the past three years of infirmity, I have another cycle of creation in front of me persists.

Don’t ask me why. It will come to me as I move forward. It always does, now that I have learned, once again, to trust it.

So that’s what the poem is about, as well about storms in general.

Sorry for the long ramble.

Be well. Travel wisely. When your heart is persistent, trust it.



  1. Sorry to hear you are not yet done with the “stones”. But you seem very positive and really there’s no point in being any other way. It’s just very hard when you’re in a lot of pain. Best wishes.

  2. Praying your kidney stones pass quickly and with minimal pain, Tom. My wife and our son suffer with stones and I’m acutely aware of the associated pain. Godspeed, Brother.

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