The Poetry Shed

A Space for Writers
Letter from the Future

Dear Tommie

My Dear One,

You are having a remarkable summer and your life seems rich, full and complete. It is well. There you are driving back from your residency program where you met so many engaged, thoughtful and interesting people. You made a good choice. And the writing piece you delivered, it was so well received. You didn’t tell anyone that it was actually your story, I think they knew. Finally after all of these years you are actually dating. I’m not sure if it’s a miracle or just chance but I celebrate you. You said “yes” to something that you had said, “No” to for a long time. You said, “Yes” to another level of vulnerability. I’ve noticed how comfortable you are becoming in your own skin. You don’t second guess yourself as much. I think you’re trusting that your head and heart are in the game and that you are doing the best that you can. You’re willing to take a risk, to be open and honest. And you seem like you are pushing right through so many real and imagined fears, because you accept that life is movement, life is learning, life is growing, life is risking, life is searching life is failing and life is perceiving and succeeding. Life is a magnificent labyrinth testing your spiritual resilience.

And now my Dear One,

You will receive a strangely wrapped gift-something that has the power to shift, to change everything. And yet the remarkable thing is that you are well prepared. Your steps have been ordered for such a time as this. You have had the conditioning to not walk but run and maybe fly on eagle’s wings through this challenge because I have prepared you for such a time as this. The whole world has been brought to a standstill by something we cannot see – the corona virus that resembles a medieval mace which will slay many.  But, do not fear for you are abundantly prepared for such a time as this.

You are a spirit-warrior and your muscle memory will serve you. Remember living on a warship has given you many advantages, a particular set of skills for this battle. You know what it feels like to live small, in an itsy bitsy living space. You know what it is like to live simply with a bit of austerity and to treasure the subtle advantages. You recognize the need to flatten your expectations. You know what it’s like to get up in the morning and recognize the importance of a mission for the day. You know what it’s like to be separated from family and friends for months on end. You know what it’s like to have your choices whittled down to what’s in front of you, to ration, to set aside and to wait. You know what it’s like to feel smothered sitting for hours in an oxygen breathing apparatus for fear of the fumes and other dangerous air. You know the disorientation of navigating an invisible foe.

My Dear One,

You know the deep affection and intimacy of the spoken and written word. You know the power of a good word. For such a time as this, you have walked on a straight and narrow path that has been God- inspired. You have sometimes doubted if you have heard the Divine voice – after all, you are human. Do not be fooled or duped. Trust the Presence. You are being led.

None of this is easy. Death is graphic. Uncertainty is unescapable, but you are never alone. For I am certain that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  You are being tightly held. You know this.

Now stay “woke” and walk on.  There is work for you to do.