Ann Keiffer


The sun rises,
the sun sets…
the seasons roll…
the river bank
gives way
to the river…
the stone steps
become more
foot by foot…
even the stars
in the vastness of space
are born,
gleam their light-years,
dim and die…
everything built up
wears down…
everything that comes,
what exists
does not persist…
but how hard,
we humans try.

We clutch
to ourselves
this lonely illusion
these ephemeral
bits of physicality
and consciousness
that we are
exist outside
the pattern
the rhythm
the round
of nature…
seeing our lives
as somehow
separate from
the only story
that nature and
Life ever tell.

It’s not just that
like seasons,
river banks,
stone steps,
and stars,
we diminish
and fade away…
but that
in our dying away
we are bonded
in oneness with
everything that is,
part of one story,
part of all nature’s
always and ever
benevolent arc.

My arc may be
long or short.
It may be eminent
or humble,
gritty or grand,
ending with
struggle or ease.
But it will be an
entire and complete
iteration of life.

Let me then
tune my life
to Life’s oneness,
living my arc,
my passage,
with gratitude
for being part of
this great wonder
and mystery…
my wearing away,
my wearing down,
my life, my death
not as some separate,
desperate tale
of my own,
but one life
in common
with all life.
And at my arc’s end
lay myself down,
giving myself
to that which
must come…
and even
to what may
come next.

Ann Keiffer
March, 2024

Image: “Leaning Tower of Pisa” Google, edited by Ann Keiffer


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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