Thursday, April 9, 2009

Elegant Words

Throughout my life I have had my grandmother recite her poems to me. Her work is beautiful and captures in words the feelings of a soul. This poem of hers named the Weaver is one of my favorites.

The Weaver

There will come a day, a distant one I pray
when loom and thread and hours of toil will all be put away
and I shall stand beside my work so long ago begun
and see a pattern clearly shaped from deeds and actions done.

Oh, may the flaws be small and few, not seen by eyes but mine,
and may the threads be bright with love, strong and true and fine.
That on the day my work shall wait for God alone to see,
He'll say, "Well done my daughter. Come now, and weave for me."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Forced Change

He asked if I would go, but we both already knew that I would. As it should be, isn't that a part of marriage going through things like this together? 'Of course I will go, you didn't need to ask'

Thoughts float thickly through the car as we drive farther and farther. Thoughts and feelings that can't be expressed to the persons with you, but you think and feel things that you know somehow they are also.

Taking each other's hand we walk in to the modified, renovated shopping market now full of offices and large rooms.

15 or maybe it could have been 20 others, sitting, talking, waiting. But, for what? What were we waiting to hear? I sat down and looked and listened. Some laughed about how others would fix the problems that has hit a large portion of the nation. Laughing, but somehow not really, it was as if it was a forced laugh to stop them from breaking down right there. They were trying to paint over their pain and anxiety with quick strokes of laughter.

They talked about where they had worked and who they had worked with. Separated now, it was over. Some knew it and some were still trying to grasp that reality. 'Why had we been the ones to make the list?' Strange, there was an armed man armed. Why?

At first, there was someone who knew the person's name and would come to call them back. Then, it became someone with a clipboard calling out trying to guess who you were. We were the last. I had watched each one leave their seat and follow another into a distant large room, and now it was our turn. The woman called out 'Adam' and he stood up. I followed him and her to another man standing at a sign-in table. He was genuine and shook both our hands. How nice. And then we followed him to the farthest corner of the large room.

We walked through a maze of tall grey cubicle walls and within each cubicle was a table with at least three chairs. They considered that spouses would come, and I did come. I came for you. I am here for you. The numerous tables were plain enough with each one housing a tissue box, a plate of breath mints and perhaps a person with a tag or badge on. Some of these people were busy with backs to us talking to people from the waiting room.

I sat down at the end of the table so Adam could be next to the man. 'Any questions you have for me?' was his first. Where do you begin? Why perhaps? Or would you just give a business answer... 'We no longer needed your position'.... or ....'The company couldn't afford to keep so many on'. But still you haven't answered my question 'Why?'

Adam kept his composure when I am sure I would be having trouble. Even then my eyes felt stingy and blurred for seconds. It wasn't just happening to him, it was happening to us.

The man talked and answered the questions and at certain times tried to make jokes. What could we do, but we smiled anyway.

His last paycheck was given and the man went over what was awarded and what was deducted. Please just hand it to us and let us go, but it's not over yet. He pulls out a large paper stack with the pages full of ink saying something, and he flipped to the end page where there was a signature line. Please Adam sign it and let's go. The severence paper. His signature was written, his link was gone. His time there had ended and it was over.

The man asked again 'Are there any more questions you have?' ... Yes there are. Could you say you were sorry? Could you give us a heart felt good luck? Could someone here wearing a badge tell us that things were going to be ok?

He walked us through another door and shook hands with Adam as he left us at another desk. What now? Can't this just end so that we can go home and push these thoughts away from us? But how could we, we had tried already the day before and yet the knowledge, the realization was always there.