Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Click on photo to see animation)
Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Poetics. I am Sheila Moore and today our prompt is “change.” Don’t worry, there aren’t any changes going on with the Pub (at least none that I know of) but as Mr. Longfellow has so eloquently stated above, life is in a constant state of flux.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I do not like change. My childhood was fairly chaotic and consistency was lacking in my home. Rules, expectations, moods, and day-to-day events were unpredictable which left me longing for a world where I could wake up each morning or come home each evening and not wonder about what may lie in wait. Therefore, in my high school English Literature class, which is where I was first exposed to classic poetry, my instant fascination with a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley entitled Mutability did not surprise me.
We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!–yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost forever:
Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.
We rest.–A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise.–One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same!–For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.
Shelley taught me that nothing ever remains the same except for the fact that nothing ever remains the same – a bitter-sweet lesson which I did not begin to embrace until I was well into my twenties. I still have difficulty with change, whether it is something as small as my work schedule or something larger such as a good friend moving away. The following prayer, ascribed to Reinhold Niebuhr, is one I often say to help me deal with life’s changes:
Of course, not all change is negative. For example, getting married was a wonderful and exciting change for me, and I am overjoyed when my kids behave themselves in church for a change. Some changes bring a mix of emotions such as buying a house or having a baby. For me, these changes elicited many feelings including anxiety, excitement, joy, apprehension, fear, happiness, gratitude, pride, worry, and satisfaction.
What changes, big or small, have you experienced in life? Write a poem about one of them and share it with us by clicking on the Mr. Linky below. In the new window, enter your name and the exact URL of your “change” poem and click the submit button. Please visit the other participants as you can, commenting and sharing as you see fit.
I will be away with my husband all weekend as we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s poems when I return. In the meantime, have fun and while I’m gone do me a favor and don’t burn the place down – that would be a bad, bad change 😉