This week, our inside circle opened with a powerful poem by Maria Maziotti Gillan called ‘Winter Light.’ In four short but powerful stanzas she manages to pull gratitude from a litany of past regrets. Her second stanza begins, ‘I have learned more than I ever/wanted to know, dream/back into innocence,/life clean of regret and the sky/not darkened . . .’
From that simple first line, long-time writer AW created a deeply moving tribute to the gentle heart that beats inside her, even in the face of so much pain and sorrow – pain and sorrow she never wanted to know.
I have learned more than I’ve ever wanted to know. I want to erase the painful memories, leaving behind the noise that doesn’t let my mind rest, the anger that dances in the hallways. I’ve learned to live with and adapt to the all-consuming anxiety written on everyone I’ve come to know.
I’ve learned that with forgiveness there comes a piece of me that found silence through all the noise. I’ve learned to let go of everything that holds me back from going forward.
From inside I’ve learned . . .
I didn’t want to see the inside of a cell. I didn’t want to hear the noise. I didn’t want to see a mother cry when her child is taken from her after a visit. I didn’t want to know my family the way I’ve had to come to know them, not being able to embrace them when they visit. I didn’t want to see the pain on so many faces as I’ve seen since being here. I didn’t want to have to hurt as much as I do inside of my heart, because of being disconnected and no longer a part of the tight-knit family we once were. And finally, I didn’t want to learn more of these things I never wanted to know.