I Will Hold My Own Hand, Thank You Very Much…

I am loved.

I know that.

My friends make that  solid.

I also tend to isolate when the going gets tough.

It is tough now.

I have learned. the hard way, to be careful where you reach out

lest you be rebuffed.


I don’t wear that well.

I have my Pillars reaching out,

calling me to mass,

calling me to laugh,

and calling me to

“Accept the things we cannot change”

“Duh!”  Says Dede, calling to chew my ass,

with Love.

I am not alone.

And I do not easily Trust in times like these.

It is a hard worn path to my heart when darkness falls.

As a child I learned to Defend Against;

I did not learn to Trust.

The Poets:

   I Trust.

They Never Let Me Down.

In times of trouble or doubt I turn to the Poets.

I reach for my thin volumes of

Words as Gift to guide me,

when I should be reaching for the phone.

Old habits die hard.

The poem below speaks  specifically to racism and sexism

and the need for us to be our own guides,

to be our own source of Love when Love feels far away.

This poem resonates from Far Away,

from the past.

The past has a way of interfering

with the present.

It is what it is.

  I have learned:

“…one hand holding tight
my other hand …”
  I have learned to celebrate what I am
willing and able to let in;
and to let go of that
which is of harm.
I am  learning,
to  let someone else
hold the hand I have held
my whole life;
my own.

Thank you, you know who you are.

You call me out, you hold my hand.

I am grateful.

Peace,   Jen

won’t you celebrate with me


won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton, “won’t you celebrate with me” from Book of Light (Copper Canyon Press, 1993). http://www.coppercanyonpress.com

~ by Step On a Crack on January 29, 2012.

14 Responses to “I Will Hold My Own Hand, Thank You Very Much…”

  1. Jen – this is lengthy for me but the poetry I turn to, the words that have soothed my heart and I pray will soothe, comfort and begin to heal yours. No hurry, dear friend. Grief and pain can not be hurried. But they you can be met with grace to carry the burden for you. I love these words:

    God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
    I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
    You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
    You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
    I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
    This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

    7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
    If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
    If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
    You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
    Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
    It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

    13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
    I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
    You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
    You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
    Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
    The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.


  2. What a fitting poem by Lucille Clifton. I celebrate you, Jen! As you hold your own hand and join hands with friends and poets inviting us to “come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.”


  3. LATE LATE LATE … damn, this good! OF COURSE IT IS … i know where i am. I’m holding you beautiful hands. You have really long, beautiful fingers, btw. Just thought i tell you i noticed: Wish they were mine. In the meantime, since i can own them, i’ll hold them.

    TRUST is big. You are selfless! I get the HUNKERING
    N when

    I’m praying for light for you … and some lightness in your heart. AND BIG-OLD POETRY BOOKS from all your favorite authors. Love Mel x oxo


  4. As long as you ha


  5. I learnt not to trust early real early when i grew up after being so self sufficient/reliant and locking all the pain away it felt strange speaking and reaching out. It brought on insecurity..will they help? am i asking too much? etc so when I should be reaching for the phone, like you., I don’t. People reach out and but I ignore it even resent it because strangely I now find that I do come out but when I am ready when I feel ready, on my terms, my way, in my time. Did I get it right?


  6. I hope I did not offend you.


  7. Yes all the time and thats when I go MIA until I can face the world and my cyber friends again


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