For moving into the depths. - Kristen Kalp

For moving into the depths.

We leave ourselves behind all the time.

We commit to the marriage, the meeting —
the next step, the next year —
even though we know it’s not right.

We pretend we really want the marriage, the meeting —
the next step, the next year —
leaving each loud, protesting piece of ourselves behind to rot.

We make dull husks
of our own lives, acting as if we can’t hear
all those voices howling in the wind, abandoned.

The good news is.
We’re not dead yet.
We’re not dead. Yet.

We can pick up each of the pieces we’ve left behind,
without guilt or shame for failing to notice
what we’ve been dropping all this time.

We can draw our eyes up,
past this parched landscape,
to all that water teeming with life.

We can go in.

The waves are passing in short sets;
the current is strong;
the sharks are circling.

And you go in.

Beyond the loudest voices shouting for you to turn back,
beyond the certainty that your work is too big to tackle today,
far beyond that same certainty saying your work means absolutely nothing.

And you go in.

The cave where you can catch your breath
is down there, a few inches beyond
the point where you believe you’ll burst.

And you go in.

From here you can see the table, all set, and the room, pulsing with life;
you can hear your own voice,
elated at having called you back to yourself.

And you go in.

The depths are murky. It’s been a while since you’ve seen yourself.
The screens are calling. They’ll run your life if you let them.
You have absolutely no idea what you’re doing here. No one really does.

And you go in.

P.S.  This is a poem for the maker in you.