Many, many years ago, long before this light came into my life (in many ways, not just by virtue of reuniting with G or bringing E home), a dear friend and then therapist opened a battered and much loved book of poetry by Gluck and had me read this poem, The Wild Iris. As a lover of the written word, and in particular, poetry, this introduction to delving into the root of my own suffering was unparalleled. But then, there is no match for one as gifted as my (now) friend H. He broke molds, including my own, and it is because of him that I have my being, full and well, scarred and renewed.
I think this is true for our daughter as well. There are countless doors she will and has passed through, all of them transforming her and us as we journey together. This poem is a testament to her many (and often excruciating) beginnings- from the womb into breathing life, born yet again to a nanny that was a mother to her, and born yet again to us, her adoptive parents. And each time, a departure that leaves a void incapable of being described. A primal wound, an unimaginable loss. She is, in a word, a hero in her own right. And that's nothing to do with the chair, or her physical challenges, but everything to do with her incredible spirit, her "though she be but little, she is fierce" soul.
I hold this poem close to my heart. I hold her closer.
The Wild Iris, by Louise Gluck
At the end of my suffering there was a door.
Hear me out: that which you call death I remember.
Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting. Then nothing. The weak sun flickered over the dry surface.
It is terrible to survive as consciousness buried in the dark earth.
Then it was over: that which you fear, being a soul and unable to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth bending a little. And what I took to be birds darting in low shrubs.
You who do not remember passage from the other world I tell you I could speak again: whatever returns from oblivion returns to find a voice:
from the center of my life a great fountain, deep blue shadows on azure seawater.