The Layers

Posted on Jan 2, 2014 in Books, Reflections

New Year’s Eve I was at a small party with friends in the neighbourhood. There was food and drink and fire: candles in the snow, candles in the windows, and a bonfire out the back porch. The bonfire was best of all. On small scraps of paper, we wrote down the things we wanted to let go of in 2013 and the things we wanted to embrace in 2014. We threw them into the fire. We chased each offering with handfuls of flour and made small explosions of light. The sky was black and clouded over in places, though the hostess said there was a new moon. Then someone read the poem The Layers by Stanley Kunitz, and I felt riveted to the ground. I had never heard it before. All I could think was how much I feel this too, this looking back at the “milestones,” the path I’ve taken, how I keep changing. How none of it was what I had imagined: the losses I’ve endured, we’ve all endured along the way; the loves. And the mystery of the road, how no matter what, I want to keep walking. Read the poem.