Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poem: Therapy


You thought you were finished
when you looked down
and saw the tiny patch of truth,
the tidbit of the original spruce flooring,
rich with color and grain,
rich with the true beauty
that lay beneath 25 years
of paint.

You are sure that those that came before
thought the paint an improvement,
and for a time, perhaps, it was
bright and new, full of color
that gleamed under the morning light.

But that paint no matter how carefully put on,
becomes scratched, and all the layers
of all the years, cannot forever
hide what is real,
and you may fight it,
or choose to open yourself to it.

It is hard work either way. more paint,
to hide the truth that lies beneath,
or taking the time to strip these floors
back to their beauty,
to embrace their age and scars,
their original beauty,
and you know

that you want that beauty in your life,
want it so badly you will do the work,
endure the chaos and smell and pain and time
to have it.


No, that is not abstract art in the photograph. It is instead a tiny patch of worn flooring in the living/dining/library room I have been painting. The paint is done and I was going to move the furniture in this weekend. But she who I live, suggested I do the floors too while I had the room apart and the house in chaos. I resisted it, until I saw this little patch and saw what the floors were underneath. A richly grained spruce. Beautiful stuff. So I will live in chaos a little longer. It will be worth it to truly finish the room and have that gorgeous flooring to look at each day. (and yes, like the others, you can click on it to get a larger version.)

As I thought about that, it made me think of therapy, and how it is so much the same way. You make progress. You feel like you are there, but you keep finding places of potential truth and beauty in your life, and so you push forward. No wonder it takes years. And no wonder so many people give up. But for those who persist.... such rewards!

And so the remodeling poems continue for another week or two anyway. The photographs may not be art, but I am enjoying them.

Off to church.



Shadow said...

these parallels between painting and therapy are spot-on!

Mark Kerstetter said...

Beautiful thoughts Tom. Have a warm and peaceful holiday.