Absence of Bloom

How can we bear the absence of her bloom?

How can we bear the absence of her bloom?

Art saves the world. Art saves me.  When Maeve went to college last fall, I knew it would be a time of reckoning and re-shuffling. My priorities were shifted and I was left to ponder empty spaces.  Vowing to remain mindful, I experienced fully the grief, the relief, the excitement, the longing. Once again, art was my refuge and my solace.  The first line of this poem came to me when I was teaching a multi-media class called “What’s My Line?”  We were responding to flowers, objects, vegetables, with sticks and unusual tools dipped in Sumi, and then working over the images with acrylics, gesso, walnut ink. The resulting pieces (for me) were in response to a dying sunflower. Captivated by its wilting, bent head, it made me cry. The beauty of its dying reminded me of my own grief, and inspired hope. I know that the Sunflower seeds will bring new flowerings. My daughter’s departure will also result in blossoming and blooming in myriad ways.

Leaving empty spaces in her wake
while fading from our view
How can we bear the absence of her bloom?

we  take the empty vase away,
wishing for her return
in sunshine, seed and sunflower
A vision for longing eyes,
laughing, blooming
pure joy

untethered by expectation or fear,
living, growing,
while we plant new seeds alone.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Campbell

    Sharon – this poem is so beautiful and poignant. My girls have been away from my home nest for many, many years now and they are facing this same empty nest syndrome now themselves. But I can remember how it felt and what had to happen for me to stop those tears. You definitely have the right idea and have obviously begun your new journey too. I just know that it will be a joyous one and I wish you the best.

    Life includes so many ‘leavings’. It just means that we have to be aware of the ‘arrivings’ too! In my case, several months after the last one left for college and was sure she wouldn’t be coming back here to live after, I turned her room into my first real studio. All the art supplies from all around the house and under things came out and claimed their new space. I could go on forever but won’t. Just know that I understand and I also know you are doing fine. Your daughter seems to be someone to be exceedingly proud of. (Even if she didn’t pick UCLA for her school!)


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