Since creation

mwegner photo
Photo credit: Michelle Wegner

Whatever is most precious to you –

that wildly beating heart

in the alcoves of your soul –

bring it to me,

lay it before me,

and let’s gaze on it together.

Why do you tremble,

as if I would uncreate

what is already complete?

No, my child:

I have longed for you since creation.





When the storm finally passes,

sun cutting through the clouds,

will I know my soul among the masses

the blurred faces of the crowds?

Do I still hear the certain voices

of sadness and of anger

or have I made different choices

and remain to them a stranger?

Did I feel the healing fingers

of the raindrops on my skin?

Do I know the hope that lingers

when I let everything come in?

* Artwork pictured above is “Absence” by Jennifer Goto, a Los Angeles-based artist who works with Japanese mineral pigments and gold and silver leaf.

One of those days

Hard to get up and go days,

Hard to put on that smile

To just feel normal days.

Feeling the air press against me days,

Feeling like I’m not awake

Like I can’t find my center days.

Seeing the darkness days,

Seeing my own frailty

The horror of separation days.

Finding you with me days,

Finding you gentle

Finding you listening

Finding you solid ground

Finding you here

Finding you loving me

Finding you with me days.

The Road Ahead

photo (16)Yesterday I went on a run with a friend through the English countryside. It was hilly and green, canopied with trees, and deliciously rustic. A few horses and sheep grazed in the woods and fields alongside us, and the roads were so narrow that we had to stop when the occasional car trundled past.

I was quite enjoying the jog until we found ourselves at the base of an uphill path, and it occurred to me that we’d gone downhill for a few kilometers. I pressed on for all of 200 meters before my lungs seemed to collapse and my legs felt like jelly. In defeat, I slowed to a not quite brisk walk. While I huffed and puffed, my friend jogged happily along beside me. Sensing my distress, she kindly said, “Let me run ahead and see how far we have to go.” She ran back shortly and encouraged me that the road leveled off in just a few hundred meters, though we couldn’t see it because the road kept bending. She did this twice more, running ahead, and coming back to cheer me on with the news that it was just another kilometer, or just another track lap until the next checkpoint.

As I trudged up that hill, I realized how grateful I am to have friends journeying alongside me as I settle in Izmir. I have American friends that have gone before me in the work of cultural adjustment, and I will look to them for encouragement when the road gets tough. I’m grateful also to Turkish friends who can help me navigate the twists and turns and point me in the right direction when I am lost – both figuratively and literally!

The road is long and lonely when we walk it alone, but when we travel with friends, though still painful and exhausting, it becomes a journey of hope.