Process is not just an intelligent concept

Almost nine months ago, I left a city in southern Spain that had become my home. Since time seemed to move so lusciously, and so slowly there I can hardly believe I’ve been back in the states for three quarters of a year. Half of me, or more than that, is still often there. It would feel so refreshing to write a post filled with vitality and excitement about what’s happening here in Denver. And there is a lot happening. But time and age will heal us if we let them, and will teach us that vitality sometimes only comes through doing the work that’s vital for us in any given moment. Mine is learning to befriend my weeping, to stay awake in the razor’s edge of longing without reaching for relief, to tell a friend who thinks I’m “together” that I’m actually quite sure I’m falling apart. No one can predict how a personal transition will unfold for us,  although we like to imagine there are evenly structured lines and stages. Even Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the creator of Stages of Grief, fought and screamed as her own body moved toward dying. As much as I’d like to see myself as a more worldly and widely trekked soul after living in Spain, what I see right now is merely a decision to allow this pain to overwhelm me. It doesn’t fit my westernized view of  resolution at all, but at some mysterious point, the only way out of pain, is through it.





I miss the water in Spain

with every hair on my head.

The curled waves unraveling

themselves to make their white spools,

all tumbling gently toward our walking feet;

I said it was a reverent process.

It was how I wanted to come to you.

But my spools and yours

were wound so tight.

We missed our soft unfurlings,

couldn’t feel our own feet walking.

You wanted to carry me, or I you.

It was an alluring, heavy habit.

Now, with every flutter of my feet

touching water, I miss the hope

I had for us.

With every walk to somewhere new,

I marvel at the work it takes.



-Jennifer L. Sandberg


6 responses to “Process is not just an intelligent concept

  1. Wow. That poem knocks the breath out of me. I’ve been to that place. (Not in Spain, the with the other person part) The way your words rock back and forth with the image and motion of the sea has that unspeakable magic about it.

    Thanks for sharing. I will call you soon. Till then I wish you healing and clarity as you move in your process.

  2. Amazing. I had visceral reaction to this poem. I feel like I can relate to the unraveling and effort it takes to move forward as well. Thank you for sharing Jenny. You are a brave and vulnerable and beautiful inspiration to me. Let’s see each other soon.

  3. I love you Jenny, your poem is so beautiful and touching, I just wish I could hug you MUY FUERTE after reading it,,,,,ALL THE BEST!

  4. Thank you for your vulnerability, Jenny, in both the poem and your reflection. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we once belonged to a particular moment. I love your last line, “With every walk to somewhere new, I marvel at the work it takes.”

  5. That’s a nice way to express that, that we once belonged to a moment. While they are in some ways so edifying, at some point you begin to see that now, you belong to a new moment and the charge of that old memory is resolved. After writing about it, I’m finding, the resolving process happens really naturally. I don’t have to work at it. I appreciate you reading and commenting, because it reinforces the need for all of us to have some way to identify and express OUT whatever is IN. Thank you.

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