The known becomes the unknown.
The unknown looks me full in the face, unblinking,
At first incomprehensible.
Now is the time,
I hear from someplace far away
Yet closer than breath,
To step forward.
To cast aside the ease of compliance,
That familiar, once-comfortable mantle
Long tied about my neck, resting on my shoulders,
The extreme heaviness of which I only now
Begin to notice.
Has the time perhaps come for us to grow up?
We are no longer an infant nation,
No longer the infant feeding, as infants always do,
Off of the body of the all-giving Mother.
We filled in the little rectangles on our ballots;
We sealed and stamped the envelopes and dropped them in the mail.
There. That’s done.
Now then, what’s next?
Back to business as usual.
Who knew that we might not be able
To business as usual?
Who knew that we were participating in a rite of passage,
Embarking on a time of change,
A time of growing up?
That we were being called to find our guidance,
Our compassion, strength, and wisdom
Even in the stark and barren places of the night?
Have we forgotten
That every seed that springs to life
Breaks open in the dark,
Sending vibrant, life-empowered roots
Deep into the dark and fertile earth?
Have we forgotten that pain, even pain that overwhelms,
Can be, at times, a natural part of giving birth?
Each of us,
Alone, and yet together as groups and as one nation,
Rise up, each in our own way, to grow beyond
All that we who call ourselves Americans
We waken and we rise.
Then through, within, between, and all around us
The great and beautiful, unquenchable Unknown
That has been quietly gestating in the dark
Begins to move, inch by inch and breath by breath,
Along the birth canal of human consciousness
The new and treasured
—Laurie Hoff Schaad