The Healing Project

You lose a job, a spouse, a mom or dad or sibling or your beloved pet. Your home is damaged or destroyed. You make a horrible mistake and face criminal charges. Each one of us reaches a point — or several points — where we feel we’ve lost everything, that we’ve suffered a wound so grievous we never will heal. But heal we will. The wise Richard Rohr knows that the universe is out to heal us. We’re left to wonder why we fight it so hard. The Healing Project page documents my healing from a deep and vicious emotional wound.

Refugee from the Hot Zone

Surviving Divorce

Grief’s Teachings: The Economy of the Heart

And now I understand
after waking enough times to think I see
the Holy Kiss that’s supposed to last eternity
blow up in smoke, its destiny
falls on strangers, travels free.
Yes, I know now, traps are only set by me
and I do not really need to be
assured that love is just a four-letter word.

— Bob Dylan

Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word

= = =

I’ve heard it said it’s not a lie

if you believe what you say. Promise and vow,

then, live under incessant threat.

There’s no wayfinding in this landscape

but who needs it? The confident

victim’s True North is blame.

This or that thing will be so

until it no longer pleases you

to have it so.

This economy of the heart

is neatly equipped with a built-in crash.

Look at all the broken stuff over there

on the supply side. Better see

if you can sell it cheap.

— Copyright (c) 2014 Steve Kline


Grief’s Teachings: Pain Like Joy Is a Loose Garment

Unpacking pain is tough

because when you neglect and stuff it away,

mold and stiffness set in and you can end up

cracked, bleeding, infected just by handling the stuff.

Better never to pack it up. If it’s there

among the pants, shirts, socks and shoes

go ahead and put it on. Wear it

not like a hair shirt or any style

that is somehow short of your aspiration or

burdensome or something you would exchange

for a fine three-piece suit if you had one.

Wear it simply as attire appropriate to the times,

given the weather

inside your skull,

your heart’s tide, the

temperature inside.

The sharp dresser understands

pain, like joy, is a loose garment

that will not harm you.

— Copyright (c) 2014 Steve Kline


I go to watch the blood dry

Of the rising and pooling and sighing

giving way of water,

and how and when it freezes and thaws

and how it goes its way

I learned because I spent hours alone outside 

in woods near streams and rivers

that were play perfect.

I went out there to learn


That a certain consistency of mud

clots on and along your soles

and interferes with your stride,


That certain insects make excellent use

of creek water’s surface tension,


That years and years ago countless little jars

made of blue and green and pink glass

were either lost, stolen or tossed —

their jagged shards collecting among pebbles

in the sand along unnamed streams,


That some green things push up through the snow

nosing into the warm season’s earliest light

while other growing things stay somber brown

sometimes into June and beyond,


That there is something very like personhood

In stones,


That abandoned dwelling places have chilly spots

and are unutterably sad.

I go out there now to learn
how I make this bleeding stop. I go to
watch the blood dry. See 
it age from ripened sodden scarlet to
withered brittle maroon as that latte moon
overhead seals up the gashes.

This I know: Natural things heal.

Once I put on Brownsville Girl as
the soundtrack for my chores.
She said, “You sure know how to wreck
a Saturday morning.”

— Copyright © 2016 Stephen T. Kline


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