Advertise Here


Soul Food

I went to a “praying with poetry” gathering at my Catholic parish last night. Well over 60 people attended with most of us close to either side of 60 years old. Our priest read poems by William Stafford, Sherman Alexie and others. I was reminded that at this time of Advent – the four weeks before Christmas – we are called by the Church season to wait and be still and watchful – and reflective.  I stepped over Black Friday and  ignored Cyber Monday to get to my place in church where words filled the pockets of my heart, packages of faith – never neatly tied – I carried all the way home. Here is one for you:


Tomorrow will have an island. Before night
I always find it. Then on to the next island.
These places hidden in the day separate
and come forward if you beckon.
But you have to know they are there before they exist.

Some time there will be a tomorrow without any island.
So far, I haven't let that happen, but after
I'm gone others may become faithless and careless.
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
you find, and after a while you decide
what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,
you turn to the open sea and let go.

William Stafford

(S-R Archives photo)

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to EndNotes

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here