absence

Absence teaches you how to hold

and how to let go of

what once inhabited space

in your home,

in your heart,

and in your mind.

Some absences are revelatory

beyond your wildest expectations

leaving you fuller alone than

accompanied by a living absence.

Other absences provoke stone carvings

in the deeper storehouse of your memory,

faithful effigies of those whose presence

is either periodic due to circumstances

far outside your scope of control 

or, far more incarnationally,

as a result of decisions,

good and bad,

that accumulate over time

as wisdom. 

Absence has a refining density

in its presence in one's life 

made known most acutely

in the way the small self

will attempt to turn up the volume

of the variety of sound machine-like practices

that drown out the still, small voice of the soul;

once you tire of your peculiar practice of white noise

you are faced with the patient and compassionate 

blank page of a world full of potentiality

that literally begs you 

to pick up the pen

or the brush

to make something 

of this absence.

We need the presence of absence in our lives

to brush up against the creatio ex profundis

that makes itself known far more often

than any creatio ex nihilo ever will,

for we are always playing with some material,

though the sand castle has been washed away,

though the picture no longer resembles 

what was in your mind's eye,

though someone took your clay 

and attempted to form it into something else,

though you have misplaced the pen

you had imbued with special creative powers.

Each absence calls forth an invitation to courageously

step forward into these daily disintegrations 

and requires a trust that on the other side 

of these paradoxically creative times

will either be a fondness for what is missing

or a clarity that what was lost was never meant to 

take up permanent residence on the shore of your life,

that the same tide that comes and destroys your creations made of sand

is the same tide that washes the message filled bottle to the shore.

Krister White