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"For The Interim Time", by John O'Donohue

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Every Sunday I prepare an email where I share the poem that I will read the next week to my online groups in class. I had something completely different prepared, and one of my students mentioned this poem by John O'Donohue. I changed my mind.

Here it is:

For The Interim Time

When near the end of day, life has drained Out of light, and it is too soon For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline Makes everything look strangely in-between, Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless. In a while it will be night, but nothing Here seems TO believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out; The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away; The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything; In this place of dusk, Your eyes are blurred; And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart And you can see nowhere to put your trust; You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence. Do not allow confusion to squander This call which is loosening Your roots in false ground, That you might come free From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind, And it is difficult and slow to become new. The more faithfully you can endure here, The more refined your heart will become For your arrival in the new dawn.

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Brentwood Regatta, Vancouver Island, Canada
Brentwood Regatta, Vancouver Island, Canada, 2015

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